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Using Your Printer From Basic by Sheldon Leemon 



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Volume 1 Number 8 

U.S.A. S3.50 

Canada $4.50 



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Commodore Amiga™ Information and Programs 




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SUPERBASE IS NOW 
AVAILABLE FOR THE 




^AMIGA 



The enormously popular and proven database system, Superbase is now- 
available for the Amiga computer. We completely rewrote Superbase to take 
full advantage of all the power available on the amazing Amiga. This is not a 
conversion, but an entirely new Amiga program! 

TOTAL SOLUTIONS 

Superbase provides the total information management solution, ft is a true productivity program for the Amiga computer. You can 
finally use a serious database with a serious machine. It's easy to keep track of inventories for your business whether you're working 
with parts inventory or real estate listings. Superbase is perfect for church membership rolls, patient files, personnel schedules or any 
place you need to manage and control large amounts of important information. 

Access the power of the first true relational database management system with Superbase Personal Relational Database System. It 
will turn your Amiga into a truly productive tool, with virtually limitless capaci ties. Imagine beingable to have an unlimited number of 
files open at any time. You can even have each file indexed with up to 999 key fields to search and sort 

EASY TO SET UP 

Superbase utilizes the latest ifleas in easy-to-use mouse and windowing 
technology. There are pull-down help menus to ease you through problems that 
may occur during database creation. Superbase is completely menu driven and 
takes advantage of the pomt-to-click features possible with the Amiga mouse. 

Create a database in minutes using the easy to understand menu selections 
and control panels. Type in field names, add details like length or data style and 
you are quickly ready to input your data. Unlike other databases, you can alter 
your formats at anytime, without disturbing the data already in existing files. 
Using Superbase's Enhanced BASIC, your database can be totally customized to 
virtually any application. 

IT'S EASY TO MANAGE YOUH DATA 

Display your data in the format you choose. Either page by page or just as it appears in the record format. You choose how to view the 
data you need. There is practically no limit to the number of fields in a record, you have complete control over what is displayed on 
screen or printed in custom reports. 

Decide on the fields and on the sequence, then use the VCR style controls to view your data --Get the first record, then fast forward, 
pause, continue or stop - it's as easy as playing a video tape! 




WORKING POWER 

Superbase makes i t easy to define reports or generate relational queries across 
multiple files, with multiple sort levels if you need them. Import data from other 
databases or applications. Export data to your favorite word processor, or join 
several files to form a new datiihase, 

The advanced B+ tree file structure and disk buffering means high 
performance -- Superbase reads a typical name and address record in an 
incredible three hundredths of a second! 




LUL-JUJLJUJUJLJLJLJLJUJ.J 



THE VIDEO DATABASE 

Superbase includes an amay.ing array of data types in your record format, including the names of pictures 
or digitized images stored on disk. Read the words, then lookat digitized picturesyou have already stored on 
disk. Your data records can "point" to images to recall them for viewing! 

You can even link multiple images to a single database record to run automatic slide shows. It's all easily 
done using the VCR style commands that you control. Revise, update or review your illustrated database in 
any desired arrangement. You have total control! Superbase is the total software solution for people who 
must manage information. 

THE BEST HAS ARRIVED! 

Finally, a program that utilizes ALL the power and functions of the Amiga computer. Superbase brings to 
the Amiga the business solutions you have been waiting for. 

The power of Superbase is also available for the Commodore 64/128 and the Apple Ile/IIc. 




PROCRejyiVC 



6yOfTUJP)R€ 

<« KALAMATH STREET 

DENVER. COLORADO 80204 

303-«a5-4t« 

TELEX: latnr 



Superbase Peraonal. I Amiga, Commodore 6*/iaa(, Apple lle/Ilc, are regiBiered tredemsrks of Preciaion Sotiware Ltd.. Commodore Buamess Machines, 
AppleComputera, respectively. This ad and all of iiBcomcnia arc copy rigli led by Progreaaive Peripherals & Soriware, Inc. and may not he reproduced, or 
duplicaiec in any manner wlihoui writicn permission. 



Amazing Dealers 



The following are Amazing Dealers, dedicated to supporting the Commodore-Amiga'^ 
They carry Amazing Computing™, your resource for information on the Amiga™. 

If you are not an Amazing Dealer, but would like to become one, contact: 



PIM Publications, Inc. 

P.O. Box 869 

Fall River, MA. 02722 

1-617-678-4200 



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Amazing Computing™ ©1986 



MctaScope: The Debugger 



MetaScope gives you everything 
you've always wanted in an 
opplicotion program debugger: 

• Memory Windows 

Move through memory, display data 
□T disassembled code live, ireeze to 
preserve display and allow 
restoration. 

• Other Windows 

Status windows show register 
contents and program state with 
freeze and restore; symbol, hunk, 
and breakpoint windows list current 
definitions. 

• Execution Control 
Breakpoints with repetition counts 
and conditional expressions; trace 
for all instructions or subroutine 
level, both single-step and 
continuous execution. 

• Full Symbolic Capability 

Read symbols from files, define new 
ones, use anywhere. 



MetaScribe: 

The Editor 

MetaScribe has the features you 
need in a program editor: 

• Full Mouse Support 

Uses for text selection, command 
menus, scrolling — or use key 
equivalents when more convenient. 

• Multiple Undo 

Undo all text alterations, one crt a 
time, to level limited only by 
available memory. 

• Sophisticated Search/Replace 

Regular expressions, forward/back- 
ward, full file or marked block. 

• Multiple Windows 

Work with different files or different 
portions of the some file at one time. 

• Macro Programs 

Lisp-like macro language lets you 
customize and extend the editor to 
meet your needs. 

• Virtual Memory 

Set the amount of data memory to 
be used, transparently edit files 
larger than memory. 

• and More! 

Keystroke macros for repetitive text, 
copy between files, block 
copy/paste/delete, set tabs and 
margins, etc. 



• Powerful Expression Evaluation 
Use extended operator set including 
relotionols, all assembler number 
iormata. 

• Direct to Memory Assembler 
Enter instruction statements for 
direct conversion to code in memory 

• and Morel 

Mouse support for value selection 
and command menus, log file for 
operations and displays, 
modify /search/fill memory, etc. 



MetaTooIs I 

A comprehensive set of tools to aid 
your programming {full C source 
included): 

• Moke 

Program maintenance utility. 

• Grep 

Sophisticated pattern matcher, 

• Diff 

Source file compare. 

• Filter 

Text file filter, 

• Comp 

Simple file compare. 

• Dump 

File dump utility. 

• Whereis 

File locator utility. 



Metadigm products are designed 
to fully utilize the capabilities of 
the Amiga™ in helping you 
develop your programs. If you're 
programming the Amiga, you can't 
afford to be without them. 



DosDisH 



A program that lets you access 
PC-DOS/MS-DOS" diskettes on 
your Amiga. Use it to list file 
information and copy files 
between the PC-DOS/MS-DOS 
diskettes and Amiga diskettes or 
devices. Patterns can be used for 
file names, and you can even 
operate on all files in a directory at 
one time. A copy option converts 
source file line-end sequences as 
the copy is performed. 



Metadi^n?, Ipc. 



MetaScope 

S95.00 

MetoScribe 

$85.00 

MetoTools 

$69.95 

DosDisk 

$49.95 



19762 Macflrthur Blvd. 
Suite 300 
Irvine, CA 9271S 
(714) 955-2555 



(California residents 
add 6% sales tax). 
Visa/ MasterCard 
accepted. 



Dealer Inquiries Welcome 

Amiga ii □ Irad^mark ol ConuiKxlore-Amiga Enc, 
MS'DOS li a tTadomaik ol Hicnsioit. Incorporatod 






Publisher; Joyce Hicks 

Circulation Manager: Doris Gamble 

Assistant to tiie Publisher: 

Robert James Hicks 

Corporate Advisor: Robert Gamble 

Managing Editor: Don Hicks 

Hardware Editor: Ernest P. Viveiros Sr. 

Amicus & Technical Editor: John Roust 

Music Editor: Richard Rae 

Art Director: Keith Conforti 

Assistant Editor: Ernest P. Viveiros Jr. 

Assistant Advertising Manager: 

John David Fastino 

Amazing Authors: 

Ervin Bobo 

Bryan Catley 

John Foust 

Don Hicks 

Kelly Kauffman 

Perry Kivoiowitz 

George Musser Jr. 

Steven Pietrowicz 

RickWirch 

& 
The Amigo 

Special Thanks to: 
Robert H. Bergwall 

RESCO, Inc. 

E.P.V. Consulting 

New England Technical Services 

Interactive Tutorials Inc. 



Advertising Sales 

& 

Editorial 

1-617-678-4200 

Amazing Computing™ (ISSN 0886- 
9480) is published by PiM Publications, 
Inc., P.O. Box 869, Fall River, Ma. 
02722. Subscriptions: in the U.S. 12 
Issues for $24,00; Canada and Mexico, 
$30.00; Overseas, $35.00. Printed in 
the U.S.A. Copyright© 1986 by PiM 
Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Firs! Class or Air Mail rates available 
upon request. 

PiM Publications maintains the right to 
refuse any advertising. 



Volume 1, #8 



Amazing Computing 

Amazing Contents 

Volume 1, Number 8 1986 
The University Amiga by Geoff Gamble 9 

A State of the Amiga from Washington State University 

MicroEd I"' 

An Educational supplier for the Amiga 

MicroEd, The Lewis and Clarl< Expedition by Robert Frizeiie 12 

A history adventure with pictures and tests 

Scribble! Version 2.0 13 

N^ail Merge, a Spelling Checker and a better run package, highlight this new version 

Computers in the Classroom by Robert Frizeiie 15 

We are the ones to open the doors 

Two tor Study by Robert Frizeiie 17 

A study of Discovery and the Talking Coloring Book 
True Basic by Brad Grier 19 

Finally a standard for the Basic Language 

Using Your Printer with the Amiga by Sheldon Leemon 25 

the Amiga offers four basic ways of sending output to a printer. 

Forth! by Jon Bryan 31 

!f you need a special tool for a special job.. ..make it yourself 
Easy! by Keith Conforti 35 

Tired of drawing with the mouse.. ..then this pad may do the trick 
AmigaNotes by Richard Rae 37 

MIDI and the Amiga, a few 'cons" to consider 

The Amazing AmigaBASlC Tutorial by Keiiy Kautfman 41 

Part Six Screens and Windows 

Marble Madness reviewed by Stephen R. Pietrowicz 44 

Coin-Op Comes lo the Amiga with a Superb Release from Electronic Arts 

Using Fonts from AmigaBasic by Tim Jones 45 

....fonts & libraries and how to use them from AmigaBASlC 
Roomers byJohnFoust 51 

John Foust guests for the Amigo 
The Amazing C Tutorial byJohnFoust 57 

'C what you are getting into. A comparison of C and AmigaBasic 
Screen SaVer by Perry Kivolowitz 63 

A monitor protection program in C 
Lattice MAKE Utility reviewed by Scott p. Evernden 79 

An examination of a much needed utility 

The AMICUS Network byJohnFoust 83 

New AMICUS & Fred Fish Public Domain Disks and more 

A Tale of Three EMACS by Steve Poling 89 
an editor is expected to fit one's style as a carpenter's favorite hammer fits his hand. 

.bmap File Reader in AmigaBasic By Tim Jones 91 

I wonder what's in those .bmap files... Hmmm.... 

Last, But Not Least 95 

a quick look at two products for the Amiga 
From the Editor 4 Amazing Mail 6 Index of Advertisers 96 

Amazing Computing"™ ©1986 



TM 



From The Editor: 



Education 

This month, Amazing Computing™ is dedicated to Education 
and the Amiga. Although, as in all other aspects of this 
machine, the software is still being developed for home and 
school, we found some nifty items just waiting to be seen. 

There is a small section devoted to MicroEd and Torry 
Esbensen. A man who has made a large contribution to the 
world of education on the Amiga. 

Geoff Gamble reports on the work being performed at 
Washington State University by a diverse yet active group of 
users. In the course of preparing this report, Geoff 
established a user group at the University. 

There are several reviews of educational products and, as a 
teacher, Robert Frizelle asks fellow teachers to embrace this 
new technology. 

Why Education? 

This is our Educational issue, but, in truth, all of our Amazing 
Computing™ issues hope to be educational. We intend to 
impart a great deal more than just information on the next best 
game or spreadsheet. 

We do like to research games such as Marble Madness, 
however, we will also review products such as True Baste. 

Reviews are important and we will continue to provide 
information on all of the fast new items coming for your Amiga. 
However, reviews do not tell you the how or why of your 
machine. For that, we have turned to the authors actually 
working with the machines every day. Thus, we have included 
Screen SaVer, Using your printer with the Amiga, Using fonts 
from Amiga Basic and .bmap reader. 

Our authors are real people with real jobs who also have a 
hankering to stay up until 3:00 AM searching for an ellusive 
bug in an intricately designed program. They spend hours 
improving the Amiga so it will perform a task for them a little 
quicker than before. 

These people are dedicated. They think nothing of spending 
hours hunched over some obscure documentation, attempting 
to find an answer to their questions. 

In short, they are students. 

We all are. 

We have been studying the Amiga with an intensity thai, if 
applied in our "younger" years, would have thrilled our teachers 
and our parents. 

Yet, we are applying the techniques educatbn gave us. We 
are teaching ourselves . We then teach others, who eventually 
return to teach us. This is a rapidly expanding spiral gathering 
more information and participants with each revolution. Its 
great. 



We are receiving calls from Amiga owners with new and 
different applications every day. They are extending the 
Amiga and its software which, in the process, secures the 
Amiga's acceptance. 

However, no one programs the Amiga just to program. They 
are training the machine to perform a task. II might be 
something important or trivial, but the machine is just the tool 
to get the job done. 

Education and the Amiga 

This is the place for the Amiga and other computers in our 
society. Not objects in themselves, but the tools to reach a 
goal. In most of our educational institutions, the idea of the 
computer is turned the other way. The computer is an item that 
must be learned. 

The term "computer literacy" is odd. No school system spends 
thousands of dollars to teach students the value and use of 
books. The students are taught to read by a slow process of 
indoctrination. They learn reading and books from an 
association with them in (he process of discovering various 
other subjects. 

It has been a long time dream of mine to see educational 
software follow the same paths. I long to see the scholastic 
publishers provide software that follows, explains, and 
clarifies their line of texts. If you bring software into a school 
to show children art and science, they will discover the 
computer as a tool. 

With the Amiga, we are blessed with the facets of a computer 
that best matches a child's heart and imagination (it matches 
mine). With the graphic capabilities, sound and animation 
possibilities, the Amiga should become the next great 
educational computer. All it requires is intelligent software. 

This software will need to be produced by educational and 
software professionals. However, this approach can produce 
the best software. This is afantasticopportunrty. 



If you are a student who needs word processing software such 
as Scribble I or a parent searching for a math instruction 
program such as Discovery, this issue is for you. However, if 
you are the die hard "hacker" (in the true sense of the word), 
we have included plenty to keep you busy. 



Don Hicks 
Managing Editor 



Volume 1, M 



New Amiga Products From 
The Developers of Amiga G, 



Amiga C Compiler — $149 95 

Eventliing >'Ou need to de\-ek)p pvi> 
grams on die Amiga, including a full 
set of libraries, lieader files, an objea 
module disassembler, and sample C 
programs. 

Unicalc — $79.95 A complete spread 
sheet package for Amiga, -^vitlT tlie pov\er- 
fiil features niiide [Xjpular by progranis 
such as VLsiGilc, Suix^rCalc, iind Loais 
1-2-3. UiiiGilc pro\ides many displa\' 
options ajid generates printed repoits 
in a varietN' of IbmiaLs and prijit image 
files. SupjX)rLs 8192 rws of 256 columns, 
and includes complete on-line help. 

Lattice Madibraiy— $10000 
Tlie Lattice Mild Jbrar^' is a collection of 
more thiin sixty C flincTioas enabling you 
to rapidly convert your Ntocintosh pro 
grams to run on ilie Amiga tliis allovss 
you to quickly and efficiently take 
acKantage of die powerful capabilities 
of tlie Amiga 

Lattice Make UtiUty— $125 00 
Automated prcxluct generation utility 
for Amiga, simiku" to UNIX Make, LMK 
rebuUds complex programs witli a single 
command. Specif\' die relationships of 
die pieces, and automatie^illy rebuild 
\'our s^-stem the same wa\' everv time. 



<^ 



Lattice 



Text Utilities— $75.00 Eiglit ,soft- 
u-are ttx)Ls ibr managing text tiles. GRHP 
searches for specillcxl cliaracier sU'ings; 
DIFF compares fdes; EXTRACf creates a 
list of files to Ix' exti-aaed from die ci-ir- 
rent direcion'; BUHU creates iiev*' files 
from a batch list; WC displays a cliiuiicier 
count ;ind a chc^rksum of a s[>ecified fde; 
ED is a line editt)r wliich utilizes outj^ut 
from odier Text Utilities; SPIAF is a 
seirch ;uid rq:)!ace function; :ind FUES 
lisLs, copies, erases or removes files or 
entire ciirectoiy suucrures. 

Lattice Screen Editor (LSE) — 

$100.00 1-asi. dexible ;ind eas\- to leun 
editor designed sjxvific^illy for prognun- 
mers. LSE's muki-winckw en\ironnieni 
prcjvides die editt )r frinaions such as 
blcxk mox'cs, ]")atteni searclies, iind "cut 
luid paste" Plus prognuiimer features 
such as lui error tj"acking mcxJe ;uid diree 
asseml>ly language input modes. 



OTHER AMIGA PRODUCTS 
AVAILABLE FROM lATnCE: 

Panel: Screen Layout Udlities— $195.00 

Cross CompUer: 

MS-DOS to Amiga C— $250.00 

dBCm: 

libran- of data base functions — $150.00 

Cross Reference Generator — $45 00 

Widi kitiice pRxlucts you get Uutice Ser- 
vice including telephone supix)rt, notice 
of new' products and enliancenienLs, ;uid 
a mone\'-back giumuitee. Corporate 
license agreements available. 



Phone (312) 858-^950 TWX 910-291-2190 

INTERNATIONAL SAIMS OFFICES: 

Benelux: De Vcwglit. fnione (32)-2-720-91-28. Ensland: Roundliill. Phone (0672) 54675 

Jap:in: Lifelxjat Inc. Pliune (03) 293-471 1 Fnuicc: SFL. Phone ( 1 ) h6-66-U-55 



Amazing Mail: 



TO ALL WOULD-BE TURBO PASCAL 

PROGRAMMERS- 

Wouldn') it be nice il there was a great 
Pascal compiler for the Amiga such as 
Borland's Turbo Pascal? As a 
programmer versed heavily in Pascal, I 
have been eagerly awaiting its release. 
Now it seems that Borland is going to 
deny us our Turbo Pascal after it had 
been promised to us back in January. A 
letter writing campaign may be all that is 
needed to show Borland that enough of 
us care and would fike to have a Turbo 
Pascal compiler for the Amiga. So 
please write to: 

Phillippe Kahn, President 

Borland International 

632 Kearny Street 

San Francisco. CA 941 08 
The future of the Amiga and its support 
is now in the hands of us - THE USERS! 
Thank you and good luck. 

Craig A Speigel 
Plainsboro, NJ 

Dear Mr. Speigel, 

There are a great many reasons why a 
company may decide to first advertise a 
product and then not deliver Due to the 
long lead times for most (other?) 
magazines, advertisers must have ad 
copy ready months in advance of the 
date they will run. The advertisers 
sometimes over anticipate both their 
capabilities and the market's. 

It is unfortunate, when we see a large 
corporation, such as Borland, first 
announce their product and then drop it. 
They have successfuly stunted the 
growth of Pascal compilers for the 
Amiga; intentionally or not. With all due 
respect, we must ask 'Are we seeing 
vaporware, or smoke?" D.H. 

Dear Amazing: 

1 anxiously await the next issue of AC 

regardless of when its published, 

its worth the wait. Sincerely, 

Jerry Anderson 
Kenner, LA 
As you probably have noticed. Amazing 
Computing™ is now issued by number 
instead of by month. Our efforts to 
produce the magazine have continued 
to yield a 5 week production schedule. 
We believe in producing a quality 
product and if It takes us longer, we 
apologize. However, we are working 
harder than ever and we trust you 
understand and share our values. D. H. 



Dear Mr Hicks: 

Having MS-DOS experience, I found 
AmigaDOS reminding me of an Infocom 
adventure: Frustration one minute, 
exhilaration the next. {I hope Infocom is 
getting royalties for version l.t of 
AmigaDOS.) You, your staff and 
contributing authors have helped me 
tolerate the growing pains and envision 
Amiga's potential. 1 have two questions 
1 hope you can help me on: 

Downloading: IBM-XT vs Amiga 
Repeated "lime Trials" (to minimize such 
factors as line noise & a BBS's user 
load) at 1200b yield a download rate for 
an IBM-XT using Crosstalk XVI of about 
50 xmodem blocks per minute. The best 
my Amiga can do using Online! is about 
32 xmodem blocks per minute. Is it the 
DOS, software, modem, computer or a 
combination of such factors that could 
account for the Amiga coming in a 
distant second (I thought the Amiga 
had XT-type speed if you use ram: 
disk.) 

"How to Sink a Sub" 

I sometimes run into a "not deleted - 
object in use" error when trying to 
delete an EMPTY sub-directory. When I 
encounter this "error" - which is only 
some of the lime - the only solution I've 
found is to re-boot. Needless to say, 
this is annoying me beyond amazement 
to the stage of bewilderment. If this 
question could be better answered by 
Infocom, please let me know. 

Sincerely, 

Larry Pahim an 

Amazed User 

Ft Wayne. IN 

Larry: 

1200 baud means 120 characters per 
second, or 7200 characters a minute, if 
you were transmitting non-stop. 50 
Xmodem blocks a minute is about 6500 
characters a minute, or about 110 
characters a second. 32 Xmodem 
blocks a minute is slow, about 4200 
characters a minute. 

You are right, several factors could 
introduce this discrepancy. One is the 
transmission medium. A transfer from a 
bulletin board system in your city wilt 
happen at near maximum speeds. A 
transfer from a commercial service, 
such as CompuServe or People Link, will 
take place much more slowly, since the 
bits have so much farther to travel. 



Another is the disk speed, and whether 
your terminal program buffers its 
transfers. If your program writes each 
Xmodem block to disk as it is received, 
this will retard the transfer With 
Onlinel, it is best to transfer and receive 
files from the RAM: disk, since it does 
not buffer the incoming data. 

There are many public domain terminal 
programs available for the Amiga. 
Often, the author has customized (he 
program for a specific purpose, such as 
fast file transfers, or fast screen writes. 
Perhaps you should look at some of 
these programs. Some are faster than 
Online!. Keep in mind that 
Microsystems Software has discussed 
an upgrade to Online!. In fact, they 
hired a former public-domain terminal 
program programmer, Michael Mournler, 
to assist them I 

I've seen the 'object in use' message 
before, in similar circumstances. This is 
a genuine bug. J.F. 

Dear Editor: 

In the July 1986 issue Mr Rae 
(AmigaNotes) was complaining about 
not being able to set Preferences in 
Music Studio. Well, there is an easy 
way to do this. I must coniess that I am 
not the originator of this information, I 
saw it in another magazine. Here is how 
to do it: 

Boot with Kickstart. 
Insert Workbench into the computer's 
disk drive, and open Workbench. Open 
the System drawer, and then open the 
Command Line Interpreter (CLI). Eject 
the Workbench disk, and insert the write- 
enabled Music Studio disk. Type the 
following (except the ">" prompt): 

>preferences <press RETURN> 
This will load Music Studio's Pre- 
ferences. After changing them, click on 
"SAVE" to store them back on the disk. 
Next type: 

>endcli <pressRETURN> 

If you have an external disk drive, then 
Music Studio may be inserted there and 
Workbench left in the internal drive. In 
this case the CLI command would be: 
>d(1 :preferences <press RETURN> 

Sincerely, 

Allen Fincher 

Suffolk, VA 

•AC- 



Volume 1, #8 



WorkI 







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You show this incredible program what you want and it does the rest, generating C or 
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IP@W®!jW^\Si<5l®W^ is a structure generator for a machine that thrives on structures. 

With this software package, written in assembler, you can: 



Pick the exact size and position for your windows visually. No more "wait to see what it looks like"; 
/i^©iW©ff'W3lf]^®M© knows where your window is and everything else about it! 

Design professional looking menus. Add menus, move menus, or delete menus, whatever you want to do with 
text menus, our program keeps track of them and writes source code letting you duplicate them exactly with 
simple operating system calls. 

Create your own string, integer and boolean gadgets and position them anywhere in your window. 
IP©M(9!j'W^T]^©W® keeps them from colliding and remembers the type, location and text contents of 
each one for writing those complex gadget structures. 

Best of all, you can keep your designs in a format that can be re-edited, letting you create your favorite type of 
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Expansion 

Memory 

Without 

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Introducing 4/agra: The Amiga 
Memory Expansion Unit from 
Access Associates. 



512 K now. 

Now you can add 5 1 2 K bytes of external 
memory to your Amiga. In the smallest 
package available, a footprint only 
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design lets your Amiga operate at its 
intended speed. No delays. With Alegra 
you get the benefit of fast memory at a 
surprisingly economical price. AND, 
BEST OF ALL, IT'S AVAILABLE NOW. 

Upgradeable to 2 MB later. 

If you'll need 2 MB of memory in the 
future, Alegra is still the right choice now. 
Our 2 megabyte upgrade (using 1 
megabit DRAMs) will give you the 
memory you need in the same compact 
package. 

Ask for Alegra at your quality Amiga 
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Total system memory is approximately 
1 meg witti ttie addition of our 512 K 
Alegra (depending on specific 
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The University Amiga 

In each department, students, faculty and staff report 
their Amiga is useful in studying, teaching and research. 



By Geoff Gamble 
Washington State University 

SOUND!! GRAPHICS!! These were the strengths advertised 
and if anything they were understated, it only took a few of the 
early reviews of the new Amiga to convince many of us at 
Washington State University that this was our computer. The 
list of Amiga users grows every month as our students and 
colleagues see what our machines can do and begin planning 
their purchases. 

Amiga users can be found in a wide variety of academic 
departments on our campus including Music, Genetics, 
Philosophy, Microbiology, Electrical and Computer 
Engineering and Anthropology. In each department, students, 
faculty and staff report their Amiga is useful in studying, 
teaching and research. 

Music 

The sound potential of the Amiga is being explored by several 
faculty and students in the Music department. One student, 
just completing her graduate degree, has written her thesis 
about electronic music and is using an Amiga with a Rhodes 
Chroma synthesizer and a J.L. Cooper Midi retrofit to put 
together some dazzling 'sound and light" shows. She has also 
developed a series of "slides", using Deluxe Paint, to lecture 
on the strengths and weaknesses of analog and digital 
synthesizers. 

One of our Music faculty is developing a "music unit" suitable 
for elementary schools (K-5) to leach concepts of music 
composition, synthesized music and which allows children to 
explore music through the use of the Amiga. She is also 
developing the "teacher-training" components that will be used 
by the University to assist teachers learning how to use these 
computers in their classrooms. 

Graphic DNA Study 

The graphics capability of the Amiga was quickly put to an 
educational use by a doctoral candidate in molecular biology. 
Trying to find an effective method of showing how DNA is 
spliced to make genes, how the genes are transcribed to make 
RNA and how the RNA is used by ribosomes to make proteins, 
he used Aegis Animator to draw pictures of the relevant 
sequences, and now can explain this complex process with 
the aid of animations. 



Building up a data base of still and animated pictures and other 
materials necessary for his lectures, the Amiga is connected 
through the NTSC port to the classroom television monitors 
and he calls up graphics, data, graphs and animation to 
support his talks. The mouse can then be used to draw 
molecules, genes or whatever he needs--a sort of high tech 
overhead projector with infinitely more utility. 

Art OnThe Amiga 

The graphics capability of the Amiga has not escaped the 
notice of the art world in our area. One local artist, who has 
shown his computer art regionally, worked with an Apple for the 
past eight years. His initial programs were art generators, a 
non-interactive mode in v/hich the computer generates the art 
forms. During the past two years he added a digitizer and 
quickly saw the interactive art possibilities. 

By that time, his Apple had been pushed to its limit and the 
Amiga, with Deluxe Paint, seemed perfect. He has been 
porting his Apple programs and graphics files to the Amiga and 
has added Digiview to his hardware. He now grabs an image 
with Digiview and then modifies it with his custom graphics 
programs, producing unique computer art images. One of his 
custom graphics programs prints out image data, giving color 
information pixel by pixel. 

A natural extension of this work will be art tiles, where his 
Amiga will generate information about the number and location 
of each color tile. He and his wife, who is a member of the Art 
department at WSU, are also doing silk screens on the Amiga. 
The computer prints out the various stencils needed for each 
color, these print outs are then converted to transparencies 
and then applied directly to the silk screen. 

Amiga As A Technical Tool 

On the more technical side of things, one of our computer 
systems programmers is working to develop computer aided 
software design on the Amiga. The Department of Electrical 
and Computer Engineering has purchased twelve Amigas to be 
used in the classroom. The first students to use them will be in 
a junior level course on computer system design. The 
students will be required to explore, design and implementation 
on the 68000 cpu and will each complete a specific interface 
project before the end of the term. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 





THIS COMPUTER A)NTB/6 't^^\\\V> '(?.\ 
ENOUGH FORTtJt TWO Of iSSl \^!^\^'^^^' 



FIRE YOUR 
EDITOR. 

And put Microsmiths' TxEd 
to use for you. 

• FAST disjilav updatus - nioi'e tlian TWENTY 
TIMES as fast as "Ed". 

• Designed from the gi'ound up to take advantage of the 
Amiga user interface. 
Multiple windows. 

VeiT easy to learn, use menus for online help. 
Simple, elegant set of commands. 
Alternate command keys shown in menus allow fast 
command entr\' for experienced users. 
Compact code works well with Amiga's multi-tasking. 
The first Amiga director>' requester that doesn't malie 
you wait. 

■*■ All around utilit>' editor is good for prograinniers, and also 
useful as a simple word processor. Great for use with 
temiinal programs. 

• Pronounced "Tex Ed" as in "Tex Ed, the Faster 
Editor in Silicon Gulch." 

To order, send $59.95 in check or money order plus 
$2.50 postage and handling to: Microsmiths' TxEd, P.O. 
Box 561, Cambridge, MA 02140. Tel: (617) 576-2878. 
Mass. residents add 5% sales tax. Amiga is a trademark 
of Commodore- Amiga, Inc. Designed by C. Heath. 
Dealer inquiries invited. 




_ iVHCROSMITHSJIMC 

JiS^ P.O. Box 561, Cambridge, MA 02140 



Language 

My own specialty is linguistics and I 
study the languages of western North 
American. Since most native American 
languages are unwritten, it is necessary 
to use a phonetic alphabet. I need a 
computer that will allow me to use the 
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) in 
my data base and word processing. The 
Amiga is perfect. 

Software is still lacking, but the machine 
will do everything I need. I have used 
computers in my research for several 
years and have grown accustomed to 
doing a lot of my own programming to 
get standard and phonetic characters to 
print properly together and also be 
displayed on the screen. I have 
finished an IPA font for the Amiga and 
hope that a good word processor which 
allows various fonts will be available 
soon. 

1 also plan on using the Amiga for a 
graduate seminar in language theory 
and artificial intelligence that is 
scheduled for the spring term. The 
students will be using the twelve Amigas 
recently purchased by the Electrical 
and Computer Engineering Depart- 
ments. 

Normal Use 

Standard applications of the Amiga are 
also seen here at WSU. Most all of our 
Amiga users do word processing and 
most of us are waiting for that special 
software that will allow us to do 
footnoting, use different fonts, or 
whatever else we could do on our other 
computers. 

With more and more software being 
marketed each month, it seems likely 
that many of our software wishes will be 
granted. All the Amiga owners here are 
pleased with the machine and continue 
to find creative ways to use it in their 
teaching and research. 

•AC' 



10 



Volume 1, #8 



Amazing Reviews... 



MicroEd 



Thorwald Esbenseriy 
one man making a difference. 



MicroEd's Torry Esbensen 
Amiga's Educational factory 

No study of educational projects on the Amiga is complete 
without at least a mention of Tory Esbensen and MicroEd. 

Thorwald (he signs his name Torry) Esbensen is a retired 
teacher and the current President oi MicroEd in Eden Prairie, 
fvlinnesota. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, Mr. 
Esbensen was one of the first teachers to embrace the 
computer as a special teaching tool. In a state known for its 
progressive work toward computers and education, he found a 
tool that could be used lor a more personal approach to 
education. However, he was also facing retirement. 

Now at Sixty Three, Thorwald Esbensen is running MicroEd, a 
software company with no less than 22 programs for the 
Amiga, most are multiple disk sets. He has programs for 
history, spelling, reading, punctuation, and word skills. 

MicroEd has introduced a series of historical programs that 
trace the evolution of the United States with paintings 
diagrams and photographs reproduced in the software with 
DigiView, The realism and impact of this technique must be 
seen to be believed, (See the review by Bob Frizelle, following, 
of MicroEd's The Lewis and Clark Expedition.) 

Torry believes the computer is an ideal avenue for thought and 
education. He is quite proud of the work he has been able to 
do on the Amiga. Torry has developed all of the programs in 
Amigabasic, but said he was searching for a compiler to add a 
little speed. With few exceptions, the programs examined at 
Amazing have run well. 

There is an added quality to the MicroEd programs. As 
Amigabasic programs, they have the bonus of being 
adjustable. If the user is willing, the source code is available 
to add changes to the test questions. 




Torry Esbensen and friend 



MicroEd programs available 

Beginning Reading 1 $29.95 

Beginning Reading 2 $29.95 

Beginning Readings $29.95 

Beginning Reading 4 $29.95 

Spelling Level 2 $29.95 

Spelling Level 3 $29.95 

Spelling Level 4 $29.95 

Spelling Level 5 $29.95 

Spelling Level 6 $29.95 

Capitalization $29.95 

Punctuation $29.95 

Social Studies Vocabulary $29.95 

Vocabulary Series $49.95 

Basic Grammar $29.95 

Word Demons $29.95 

The Spelling Detective Game $39.95 

The Lewis and Clark Expedition $89.95 

Across the Plains $59.95 

Fur Trade of the Great Lakes $79.95 

Making our Constitution $79.95 

The Transcontinental Railroad $39.95 

Introducing Maps $59.95 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 U 



Amazing Reviews... IVIicroFcl 

The Lewis and Clark Expedition 



..fifty digitized pictures showing just some of the settings 
for Lewis and Clark^s great achievements 



A Review 

By Bob Frizelle 

American History has always been a topic most people love to 
avoid. Let's face it --- how many people will sit down and have 
a conversation about the historical meaning of the Civil War? 
How many times have educators across the country heard the 
phrase, "Who cares about the pioneers journey across 
America? Why do I have to know names and dates of events 
that will have no signilcance in my future?" Indeed, teaching 
American History has presented Educators with a tremendous 
challenge. 

To alleviate a little of the burden on teachers, MicoEd, Inc. has 
developed some innovative software for the Amiga. MicroEd 
has twenty two educational programs for the classroom. They 
range in category from "Beginning Reading" to subjects on 
American History. In each of the American History programs, 
MicroEd has sought to utili2e the Amiga's amazing ability to 
digitize photographs and drawings found in the copyright- free 
books published by the U. S. National Park Service. It should 
be noted thai in each of the programs in your Workbench 
Preference Drawer, the Text should be set aJ 60 and that mast 
fvlicro Ed programs require 512K and Amigabasic™. 

The first program that I tried was the " The Lewis and Clark 
Expedition." This is a five part ( 5 disks ) series that will provide 
the student with information about this great expedition. 
MicroEd features Learner - Controlled Instruction based on 
Mastery Learning. In layman's talk, this means you can 
decide how the material may be studied and when you are 
ready to be tested on this mateial. 

You are presented with a screen of detailed instructions. For a 
student, the length of the instructions may become confusing, 
for example: 

"A lesson is completed only when a PERFECT SCORE 
has been achieved on the lest for that lesson. Each time the 
test option is chosen, twenty questions are randomly selected 
by the computer. If a question is missed, the test stops. From 
1 to 99 points are then lost according to a Random Number 
Box. You get a number from the Box by pressing the RETURN 
key as directed. 

The f^astery Test may be taken at any time, and be repeated 
as often as necessary. You start each lesson with 500 points. 
Your goal is to complete the lesson before you run out of 
points." 



I don't think a student is going to be highly motivated by the 
fact that he or she must achieve a Perfect Score, Even 
though the test may be repeated as often as necessary, I 
think the teacher or student should be allowed to set a 
reasonable percentage of correct answers to be completed, 
(i.e. 85 percent or 90 percent). In this way the student will then 
receive some positive re-inforcement. Later, the teacher or 
student can increase the percentage until the Perfect Score is 
achieved. 

Once the instructions are completed, you are presented with a 
Main Menu Screen. Here, you have three choices to choose 

from ; 

A. See Information Options 

B. Take the Mastery Test 

C. Stop the Program. 

Naturally, it is best to begin with the Information Options. You 
may then select one of the ten passsages about the Lewis 
and Clark Expedition. It is possible to select a different 
passage each time the Information Screen is presented. You 
do not have to proceed in any particular order. 

Two questions are given after each passage. All answers 
must be typed with the Caps Lock key turned On. If it is not, 
your answers will be counted as wrong. However, no points will 
be lost here. The only time you will lose points will be on the 
Mastery Test. It should also be noted that Spelling counts, 
(the answer is wrong if it is misspelled), so take notes along 
the way! Also, don't press the Return key until the entire 
question is answered. 

Beneath each passage will be a brief explanation of the full 
screen picture to follow. To view the picture, just press 
Return. The graphics here are quite interesting. The picture 
itself is actually taken from paintings and museum pieces. 
There is a total of fifty digitized pictures showing just some ol 
the settings for Lewis and Clark's great achievements. 

MicroEd's Lewis and Clark program is very good for the 
student who needs individualized instruction or immediate 
reinforcement. Because of the lengthy instructions and the 
content material, this program would be most beneficial to a 
higher grade level (grades 8 or higher). However, all students 
with an advanced reading level woukj benefit. 

•AC- 



12 



Volume 1, #8 



Scribble! Version 2.0 

Mail Merge J a Spelling Checker and a better run package , 

highlight this new version 



There are (wo phrases in an educational setting that can pierce 
a student's heart and cause their blood to run cold, "Today we 
will have a pop quiz. " and "You will be required to do a paper 
that must be typed." 

The first Is usually spoken by the instructor right alter you 
realize you have not read the daily assignment. 

The second brings the realization of hours of research followed 
by notes and penciled drafts and hours of typing and retyping 
papers which will still be handed in fully painted with correction 
fluid. Most students spend more time either typing their paper 
or trying to find some one else to type it ("Would you, Mom, 
PLEASE?") then they do researching and correcting their 
grammar. 

The introduction of home computers, has greatly reduced 
these problems. Students can use the word processing 
capabilities to produce their first draft and then rework the 
piece into their finished product electronically. The end result 
being, we hope, more time spent researching the paper and 
preparing ideas than painting out typos. 

With the Amiga, we have seen a few word processing software 
programs with more ability than others (see Textcraft Plus A 
(Pre)Review by Joseph Lowery in Amazing Computing™ Vol.1 
#6). 

Micro-Systems Software, he. of Boca Raton, Florida was one 
of the first companies to publish a word processor utilizing 
some of the capabilities of the Amiga. The introduction of 
Scribble! allowed the Amiga user a choice from Commodore's 
Textcraft™ Gentry. With the updated Scribble! version 2.0, 
Micro-Systems Software has offered the Amiga user a wider 
choice and a better product. 

Scribble! is now available with mail merge capabilities and a 
spelling checker ($99.95). The basic program has been 
improved and takes advantage of some of the tools available 
through Kickstart™ and Workbench™ 1.2 (neither have 
officially been released at the time of this review; we used beta 
4 copies for our testing). 

It is extremely nice when a requester box appears and you 
may type information without clicking a mouse in the text entry 
line. The menu and function boxes are also desellectable(?) 
by typing the first letter of the option (such as "O" for OK) to 
cancel the box and return to typing. Although these 
procedures worked on most of the boxes tested, the archive 
requester still required mouse interaction to proceed. 

Scribble! will now produce Icons for your files which eases 



copying between disks and significantly speeds the startup 

sequence. 

A close window gadget was added and up to four windows are 
supported. The standard memory default size per window is 
16k. However, when loading a larger file, Scribble! will 
automatically compensate and is compatible with memory 
expansion card 

Perhaps the nicest upgrade of all is it is free to all previous 
owners. A new disk is sent to all preregistered owners with 
spelling and merge capabilities as well as documentation of (he 
new features. 

Scribble! doesn't just "mouse around". 

Although a considerable amount of work has been put into 
Scribble! to allow more interaction with menues and the mouse, 
there are still key command procedures required. This is not 
all bad. Scribble! does offer a screen of key commands for 
instant recall, by pressing F1 . 

The right to a choice between a mouse and a keyboard is a 
welcome change. Once a typist gets accustomed to a certain 
keyboard and system, they sometimes find it awkward to 
search (or the mouse in the middle of typing. 

Scribble! has implemented a few of the more popular 
WordStar™ commands for the user that is familiar with the 
system and, of course, there are the hidden commands 
required for printer use. 

Mall Merge 

The ability to produce mailing lists and multiple copies of 
letters is a great addition lo this program. (Let's face it, where 
would the vacation condominium sellers be with out the ability 
to send you form letters telling what great prizes you have 
waiting.) Most early users will say they have no need for this 
capability until they have it. It is like owning a microwave, you 
don't need it until it is in the kitchen, then you can't live with out 
it. 

Mail merge capability can be used for everything from form 
letters to bank statements. The Scribble! mail merge will 
eventually be linkable with Micro-Systems Software's soon (o 
be released database program (they have a desperate fear of 
vapor-ware, so they will not advertised the name until it is 
ready). For now, the user must produce his files and lists in 
text format and file them in .dat files. 

Scribble I's mail merge works entirely with Dot Commands. A 
list of Dot Commands is available by pressing F2. Using the 
commands, you can name your data file and establish your 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 13 



data names. 

The variables are then inserted where required by placing 
ampersand (&) characters in front and behind of the variable 
name ( &COMPANY& for COMPANY). The letter appears as it 
will when typed and all the variables are dearly marked. 

Spell Checking 

Definitely the best feature of Scribble! is the built in spelling 
checker. Spell checking a document, your active window, a 
selected line, or just a word can be done entirely with a mouse. 
The menues and screens are the smoothest of all features in 
the program. For a traditionally bad speller, I found this to be 
an exciting addition to the program. 

Additions can easily be made to the dictionary, there is no 
means 1o remove a miss spelled word erroneously added. 
However, this is a fault of most spell checkerson all machines. 

Printers 

One of the strong points with the Amiga Is its ability to match 
with virtually any printer. This gives it an advantage over other 
systems that are confined to the computer manufacturer's few 
choices. However, there is a drawback when producing a 
piece of software such as Scribble! 

Although Bold, Italic, and Underlined text is easily selectable, 
the user is confined to the normal print text of his printer. 
Artwork and special fonts can not be activated in this program. 
This is a word processor, not to be confused with page layout 
software. The files are produced with text in mind, not 
graphics. 



Micro-Systems Software Inc. 

Scribble! is produced by a long time supporter of the Amiga. 
Micro-Systems has developed Online!, Analyze!, and BBS- 
PC! as well as Scriibble! They have an active 800 number for 
support and sales. They manintain a BBS for customer 
qusetions and they are on CompuServe's Amigaforum 
continually for any problems. 

Caveates 

Scribble is not perfect. There are places for improvement. I 
would personally welcome a different style of menu other than 
the one Micro-Systems has adopted. If the user does not work 
with the software continually, it can take a fev/ minutes to 
refamiiiarize yourself with the procedure. However, they have 
used this menu system throughout their Amiga line and if you 
own one Micro-Systems piece of software, you know how to 
use another. 

In Conclusion 

Scribble! is a good word processor and with the addition of the 
data base program planned by Micro-Systems, will prove a 
boon to users. Tlie built in spelling checker is a great plus (just 
do not count on it to find all of your mistakes). If the price 
seems sleep, just think back to those days when you watched 
the hours flow by as you were hunched over a typewriter with a 
bottle of white fluid... 

Scribble! $99.95, 
Micro-Systems Software, Inc. 1 -800-327-8724 

4301 -18 Oak Circle 1-305 391-5077 

Boca Raton, FL 33431, 



Amazing Writers! ! ! 



Yes, we mean you! If you enjoy Amazing Computing and you 
are using your Amiga, you have completed one half of the 
qualifications of an Amazing Writer for Amazing Computing™. 

We are interested in the tasks and joys you have experienced 

on the Amiga. We want to read the secrets you have 
unlocked. We want to experience your excitement and 
enthusiasm. If you own an Amiga, you have already qualified 
as an independent thinker, now use that ability to 
communicate your individual story or idea. 

Amazing Computing ™ pages are filled with people who want 
to reach you with their thoughts. They explain a portion of the 
computer you both use and abuse, because they found it 
interesting. 

If there is something in the Amiga family that interests you, 
chances are there are people who would enjoy hearing what 
you have to say. So don't sit around waiting for others to 
teach you what 

you have already learned by hours of trial and error, get 



excited and teach the rest of us. 

If your idea or explanation is of interest to developers and 
hard core hackers, please send your thoughts and a request 
for writer's guide lines to: AMICUS Network Editor. 

If you are more interested in general use of the Amiga and its 
products, please send your suggestions and ideas to: Editor. 
Amazing Computing™ 



B ut. either way post th em lo : 



PiM Publications Inc. 
P.O. Box 869 
Fall River, MA 02722 



Please include a hard copy and an electronic copy of your 
article for review. In both instances, please include your 
name, address and phone number. We will return an answer 
as soon as our editors stop shouting about how great your 
idea is, and types a response. 



Amazing Computing™: your resource to the Commodore Amiga 



14 



Volume 1, #8 



Computers in the Classroom 



We are the ones to open those doors. 



by Bob Frizelle 

Panic 

Imagine yourself as an Elementary School Teacher lor the 
past twenty-five years in the same community. You have 
taught hundreds of children and watched as they grew older, 
then brought their children into the school system. In some 
cases, former students are now current colleagues. Gone are 
the days of Dick, Jane, Spot, and the twenty-cent lunches! 

Before your eyes, you see rraterialize the "New" concepts in 
education. The idea of the Open Classroom, Team Teaching, 
Free Lunches and Breakfasts nearly make you pray for 
retirement! However, you weathered the storm as some of the 
"New" concepts saw their way out the door. What a relief! Now 
we can get back to the basics. Then it happened! The 
Dawn Of The Age Of The Computer ! 

Again, you are faced with introducing a new instrument into the 
classroom. To add to your dilemma, the students may know 
more about this instrument than you do! As each year passes, 
computers become more and more predominant in our society 
and we see more of them appearing in the homes. They 
help families keep track of their financial affairs. In addition, 
they provid the children with an instrument, not only fun to use 
but, will benefit their future in education. 

If you, as an educator, are not prepared to teach or have a 
computer in the classroom, then I suggest you get prepared! 
This is no fad! We are dealing with an instrument here to slay. 

We are on the threshold of a whole new beginning! We are the 
ones to open those new doors for the students who sometimes 
have difficulty in learning new concepts. We can do this by 
presenting them with a new instrument of learning. The 
Computer! 

Legislatures across the country are gradually making money 
available, through special grants, to the school systems for 
the purchase of computers, as well as the development of a 
solid computer curriculum. For those school systems 
fortunate enough to have an active Parent Teacher 
Orginization, fund raisers have been held to supplement the 
grants. In some cases, these fund raisers have even supplied 
the schools with most of their computers and software. 



There are those teachers who would prefer not to see the 

computer in their classroom. I understand, however, let's 
be reasonable and remember the reason we chose to be 
teachers; to provide the students every available opportunity 
to better themselves. If the computer can do this, let it! 

Granted, there are going to be scheduling problems . How can 
you be fair to each and every student? When will they get to 
use the computer? This is an area that each teacher will have 
to work out for themselves. I suggest you discuss this with the 
students. Find out what they expect! From there, develop a 
schedule comfortable for you and them. In this way, I don't 
think anyone will feel left out or disappointed. 

Software 

The software being offered today is exciting. The students are 
allowed to reinforce and review their weaknesses in subject 
areas on an individual basis. In addition, they are doing this in 
a fun way with no teacher hanging over their shoulder! If the 
software Is available, they can choose the subject area they 
feel they need to reinforce. What better way to learn? 

The software waiting to be written for the Amiga will be 
Amazing! No hype, just fact. There are more tools available 
on the Amiga then on any of the machines now used in 
classrooms. Amiga's tools (color, graphic ability, video 
synchronization, sound, speech, multitasking and more) give 
the Amiga an incredible advantage for educational programs. 
These tools bring a subject alive in a personal, one to one 
manner, that no other medium (except a highly talented and 
motivated teacher) can match. 

Special Needs 

I have only discussed what the computer can do in the regular 
classroom. Imagine what the Amiga can do to help the special 
needs students! With voice synthesis, learning disabled 
children with speech and physical difficulties will be able to 
communicate in a totally new way! Just think of what that will 
do for their egos?! Let's not forget the other special needs 
students. How can the computer benefit them? It can give 
them the sense of accomplishment that they may otherwise 
not feel. By manipulating a joystick or pressing the correct 
key, this student may then achieve a level of success that he 
or she has never achieved before. What more could a teacher 
ever ask? 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 15 



It's SAM! 




Do yoii know wh«re your bugt are ? 



This C programmer is finding his bugs the hard way .. .one at a time. 
That's why it's taking so long. But there's an easier way. Use 



Amiga-Lint 2.00 



Amiga-Lint anahzes your C programs (one or niany modules) and 
uncovers glitches, hugs, quirks, and inconsistencies. It wi!l catch subtle 
errors before they catch you. By examining multiple modules, Amiga-Lint 
enjoys a perspective your compiler does not hove. 

- Indirect files automate testing. 

' Use it to check existing programs, 
novice programs, programs about to 
be exported or imported, as a pre- 
liminary to compilation, or prior to 
scaling up to a larger memory model. 

- All one pass with an integrated 
pre-processor so it's very fast. 

- Has numerous options and infor- 
mational messages. 

- It will use all the memory 
available. 

- PRICE: $98.00 MC, VISA, COD 
(Includes shipping and handling 
within L'S) PA residents add 6% sales 
tax. Outside USA add S15.00. 
Educational and quantity discounts 
available. 

- Trademarks: Amiga-Lint{Gimpel 
Software), AmigaifGommodore) 



• NEW: ANSI C extensions (enum, 
prototypes, void, defined, pragma) 
and many additional checks. 

- Full K&R C 

- Use Amiga-Lint to find: 

inconsistent declarations 
argument/parameter mismatches 
uninitialized variables 
unaccessed variables 
unreferenced variables 
suspicious macros 
indentation irregularities 
function inconsistencies 
unusual expressions 
...MUCH MUCH MORE 

- User-modifiable library-description 
files for the Aztec anci Lattice C 
compilers. 

- All warning and informational mes- 
sages may be turned off individually. 



1207 Hogarth Lane • CoHegeville. PA 19-426 
(215) 584-4261 



In the future, schools can expect to 
see more of the Interactive-Tutorials. 
This is where the student can view 
anything, anywhere in the world using 
actual VCR footage or a video disk! 
Just think of the possibilities this 
presents to them? They will have the 
opportunity of not only reading and 
answering questions about a particular 
subject area, but they will get to see 
pictures of it! They will then have the 
opportunity to review this material at 
there own leisure. Just think of the 
endless possibilties this will present to 
those with short attention spans? They 
now have the chance to prove to 
themselves, as well as to their 
teachers, that they can do the work! 

With the advent of Gen-Lock on the 
Amiga, we will be able to test and 
caption material in various ways, which 
will continue to add variety and aditional 
facets to the subject materia!. 

Presentation 

There are two ways to present the 
computer to the students; 

A.) Each classroom will have its own 

computer 
B.) A laboratory setting where the 

students are assigned one hour of 

instruction dealing entirely with 

computing. 

Why not combine the two of these? The 
student would then learn certain skills in 
the the Lab, and then be able to 
reinforce those skills, on an individual 
basis, in the classroom. Let's face it! 
Computers are here to stay I They are 
the future! K is our responsibility, as 
educators, to prepare them lor that 
future! 

•AC- 



16 



Volume 1, #8 



Amazing Reviews... 



Two for Study 



Some Work and Some Fun 
for the Amiga Young 



Discovery, 

"An Interactive Space Adventure" 

"A ride on a Starship could bee veryone 's dream... " 

Reviewed by 
Robert L. Frizelle 

To crash land on a remote, inhospitable asteroid would be 
everyone's nightmare. While surveying the damage, you 
discover that you alone are the sole survivor from your crew of 
four. The cargo of alien animal specimens have escaped from 
their containers and are lurking loose aboard the ship. Finally, 
you discover twelve fuel crystals have been dislodged and 
must be replaced. 

Sound like fun? If it does, try "Discovery" from Micro Illusions. 



"Discovery" is described by Micro Illusions as, "An 
Interactive, Educational Space Adventure" with versions in 
both Mathematics and Spelling. (We have yet to see the 
Spelling version). Children will not be disappointed. What is 
required is a 512k Amiga, a disk drive, a joystick, and a little 
mental agility (pencil and paper may not be a bad idea either). 

The goal is quite simple, collect the twelve fuel crystals and 
restore the Starship to (light without being contaminated by the 
animal specimens. In the process you will want to achieve the 
highest score possible by solving the math problems, 

"Discovery" has an AMAZING introduction that makes you feel 
as though you are drifting through the universe. It features, 
per the package, "Spectacular computer graphics, outer- 
spacial music, a starship that talks back and variable levels of 
challenge". 

At the beginning you are introduced to the crew: 

Scott, a male earthling 

Katy, a female earthling 

Mek, arobot 

Lotar, a citizen of the galaxy. 

You choose who you would like to be with your joystick. Also, 
you will choose the level of difficulty. You set the challenge 
levels (1 through 7 for math solutions). In addition, there are 
also 7 levels of addition problems, 7 levels of subtraction 
problems, 2 levels of multiplication problems, 2 levels of 
division problems and one with mixed problems to choose 
from. The difficulty increases with each level. 



My initial disappointment with "Discovery" was how to choose a 
crew member. This version came with only one set of 
Instructions explaining the challenges. The instructions on 
how to get started were missing from our review copy. 
However, a quick call to Micro Illusions resolved this. The 
Joystick connects to the second mouse port. 

Now, you are ready to begin your adventure. The monitor 
displays the interior of the Starship and your character with an 
outline of the ship below. A small yellow dot marks your 
location. Also displayed is the number of crystals collected, 
your strength (you begin with 20 strength points) and your 
score. 

To increase your score, you must solve each math problem 
presented at the security doors. To increase your strength, 
you must collect the crystals. You lose strength (5 points) 
each time you come in contact with one of the Alien Creatures 
(included among them are Veerus, the Meba, and the Cellot). 

Solving the various math problems may sometimes become 
confusing. For example: 

Addition: - You must work from right to left. Add each column 
of digits separately and enter the correct number under each 
column. Next, enter the remainder. It will then appear at the 
top of the column to the left. NOTE: If the remainder is zero it 
must also be entered and carried over. 

I think children will have a little difficulty with putting a zero at 
the top of the next column. That is not taught in the 
classroom. Also, there is no way to correct a wrong answer. 

Again from the instructions: 

Subtraction: To find the difference work from right to left 
subtracting one column at a time. II the digit below is larger 
than the digit on top press "B" to Borrow from the column on the 
left and enter the remainder above it. You may then return to 
the column on the right and subtract. 

I feel children will have difficulty with pressing the "B" key to 
Borrow and entering the remainder. They very well could get 
confused and enter the wrong number. Also, there is no way to 
correct a wrong answer. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 17 



The Multiplication and Division levels will initially get the 
children confused with how to enter their responses. With 
addition and subtraction levels, you enter responses from right 
to left. Here, you enter responses from left to right. Again, I 
think the children will become confused in answering the 
problems. What AMAZED me also was the Backspace key 
could be used for correcting wrong responses. The graphics 
displayed before you are very good. 

The manipulalion of the joystick will present an even greater 
challenge in avoiding the alien specimens. The audio can 
sometimes become repetitious (to be honest after 30 minutes 
the music will drive any teacher crazy) and can be turned off 
by entering the letter 'M'. Although the sound has some use to 
the player, I would recommend a set of headphones if this were 
to be used in the classroom. 

"Discovefy" does present a challenge as you encounter each 
security door. If you respond incorrectly, the door will not 
open. Respond correctly and you are free to move to another 
compartment. Respond incorrectly and you are stuck! The 
correct answer will then be displayed next to yours. You must 
go backward one square and then fon^fard to be given another 
chance to answer correctly. 

From an educational point of view I don't feel "Discovery" will 
offer an exciting challenge throughout the game. From a 
child's point of view "Discovery" will offer an exciting cnallenge 
through a Starship, adept skill at joystick control and 
intellectual satisfaction that he/she achieved what they set 
out to do! 

Discovery "Math" 

S39.95 

Microlllusions 

P.O. Box 3475 

Granada Hills, CA 91344 



The Talking Coloring Book 

There is no mess to clean up , 

no walls to wash 

Reviewed by 
Robert L. Frizelle 

Children Love to color. From the moment they are old enough 
to stand (or even younger), they love to scribble something on 
anything. Parents and teachers, you know what I mean! How 
many walls have crayon marks on them? How many chairs or 
couches have "mysteriously" appeared with crayon, ink, or 
marker stains after a rainy day? 



If you are a victim of these symptoms, then you should try 
"The Talking Coloring Book" by JMH Software of Minnesota 
Inc. it is amazing for young children (as well as you adults that 
sometimes like to live a second childhood)! There is no mess 
to clean up, no walls to wash and no screaming at the kids. 
What more could you ask for? What you will need to get 
started is your Amiga and your mouse. Simple enough (don't 
forget your imagination)! 

After you insert your disk, you will be presented with 4 options. 
Let me briefly explain each one. 

Option A. 

DEMONSTRATION— The computer will speak a color 
word, then show that word and color on the screen. This 
is very good for color identification as well as reinforcing 
the color words. 

Option B. 

PRACTICE— Here , the computer will challenge young 
(and Special Needs) children to identify each of 9 
different colors, A little co-ordination on the child's part 
using the mouse pointer to the correct color and pressing 
the left button produces the correct results. 1 think 
children will gel great satisfaction at knowing they have 
responded correctly to the computer. What happens with 
a wrong response? Try again! 

Option C. 

COLOR— (This is the option everyone will like)! You get 
to choose a picture, (an airplane, clown .Teddybear, etc.) 
and color it brilliantly with your own imagination. How? 
Choose the color you desire with the mouse (press the 
left button), go to the area you want to color and press 
the left button again. Bingo—the computer fills in the 
desired area with your color. 

Option D. 

DRAW Again, I think everyone will like this option! 
Where else can you be another Picasso? In this option. 
you draw anything you wish, change it and store it on the 
disk! Later you can go back and color each picture. If 
you do not like it, delete it! 

The Talking Cobring Book" offers children of all ages an 
Introduction into the world of coloring and interaction with the 
computer. It is very easy and fun to use! If you have young 
children who like to color, a Primary School Teacher or a 
Special Needs Teacher (with an Amiga in your classroom), 
then I would seriously recommend "The Talking Cobring Book". 

The Talking Coloring Book 

$29.95 

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•AC- 



18 



Volume 1, #8 



Amazing Reviews... 

True BASIC 

Finally a standard for the 
BASIC Language! 



Reviewed by 
Brad Grier 

In the early 1960s, computer languages were cryptic and 
meaningless to anyone who hadn't studied them for years. As 
more students became interested in learning about and using 
these computers, a need arose for an easier programming 
language. 

Recognizing thai need, a group of talented undergraduate 
students and their professors developed BASIC, the 
Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, one of the 
first interactive computing languages. BASIC is the most 
popular computer language in use today. 

Early microcomputer users recognized BASIC as a perfect 
language for their machines. It was an easy to learn language, 
and that helped to sell computers. 

As BASIC was used in different computers, the language Itself 
began to change. Software designers had to create new 
functions to take advantage of slow, mass storage devices like 
cassette recorders. The language had to be pared down so 
that it would lit in the computer's memory, often to a size of only 
8k. Soon the dialects of BASIC were quite different. Microsoft 
BASIC is one of the most popular dialects. 

But the incompatibility between the language and the hardware 
stiti exists. If a program uses a 200 pixel-wide graphics screen 
on one computer, it cannot run on a higher resolution 
computer, without modification. 



True BASIC 

Because of the many different dialects of BASIC, the American 
National Standards Institute set up a committee that would 
examine the features and benefits of all BASIC dialects. From 
tfie best of these, they would created a standard for the BASIC 
language. This standard would bring BASIC up to the state-of- 
the-art level in computer languages. 

One ol the members of the committee is Tom Kurtz. He, with 

the help of John Kemeny and some undergraduate students 
designed the original BASIC language. They also designed 
the True BASIC Language system. 

True BASIC was designed with these ANSI standards in mind. 
It is an ideal language for the Amiga. It allows older constructs 
like line numbers, GOSUB's, and GOTO's, but also has some of 
the more advanced structures like, SELECT CASE, DO-LOOP, 
DO-WHILE, and DO-UNTIL 



True BASIC is portable. Any program written in True BASIC on 
an Amiga, when moved to a Macintosh or IBM, will run without 
any modification of program code - including graphic-oriented 
programs. 



The Editor 

An editor helps you enter your program. Both True BASIC and 
Amiga BASIC have full screen editors, but the True BASIC 
editor is faster, and easierto use. 

True Basic's editor is chock full of gadgets. Most notable is the 
Error Message window. It is a small window along the bottom of 
the edit window, just large enough for a line of text. 

This window is normally empty. When it encounters an error in 
your program, it flashes orange, and displays an error message. 
The cursor then goes to the line that caused the error. It can 
display up to five error messages, but only one at a time. You 
must click in the window to bring up the next error message. 

The editor contains the usual functions you would expect, 
scroll bars and arrows, cut and paste, global search and replace, 
etc. But it also has some commands that need a little bit of 
explanation. 

Include 

Reads a disk file into the program you are currently editing. 

Keep 

Discard all lines but the program block you have specified. 

Edit 

Limits the scope of the editing window to the block of lines you 

have defined. 

Move to block 

Move cursor to a sub-routine of btock you have defined with a 
name. 

Compile 

Breaks the True BASIC program down to a binary file, which will 
reduce program size and execution time. 

The editor has all the essential features of a basic word 
processor. In fact, some of the text files on the disk were 
written using the editor. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 19 



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Programming in True BASIC 

If you have ever programmed in Amiga Basic or Microsoft Basic, 
you will be suprised tiow easy the True BASIC language is to 
use. As a test of the language, I wrote the SpaceZap program - 
in an afternoon! The program incorporates sound, graphics 
and mouse input, in under 1 00 lines. 

This program can run on ANY computer running True BASIC, 
while an Amiga Basic version would work only on an Amiga (For 
more information, see the sidebar 'SpaceZap' or 'Orbits'.) 

To write the equivalent program in Amiga Basic, 1 would have 
had to use the Sprite editor to create a Sprite, then add many 
more lines of support code. 

The language has many familar BASIC commands. It also 
incorporates many new ones. These are described below. 

The MAT statement, when prefixed to a True BASIC command, 
will allow you to manipulate the data inside an array, without 
setting up a loop. 

MAT READ - Like the BASIC READ command, except it reads 
all elements from a DATA statement into an array until the array 
is full, without a For/Next loop. Example: 

f S«i: up by r*adinQ months and daya of week . 

I 

dim months (12) , vaakdayS (7) 

mat read month$, weekday$ 

data January , Fobmary, March. .. (till th« array is full) 

data Monday, Tuesday. .. (till 2nd array i» full) 

and 



Windows 

True BASIC has 3 windows, Command, Source, and Output. 
With these, it is easy to write, execute and debug programs. 

The Source window is where the programming takes place. 
Ttiefull screen editor, and menus reside here. 

The Command window is where you can enter basic commands 
for system status and debugging purposes. If you wanted to 
know what value was assigned to the variable X, open the 
command window and type "Print X" and hit <RETURN>. The 
value of X would be printed below. 

Do you want a list of files on disk? Open the Command window 
and type "Files" and enter <RETURN>. True BASIC will display 
all the files in the current directory. Any True BASIC command 
can be entered in the Command window. 

The Output window is where any output generated by your 
program will appear. Normally this window is closed until you 
run a True BASIC program. Then it is opened and any text or 
graphic output is displayed. You can open it manually, and 
keep it displayed while you edit your program in the Source 
window. 

True BASIC will support up to 10 windows under program 
control on screen at a time. These windows may contain text or 
graphics or a mix of both. Only one window may be 'Active' at a 
time, but your program can decide which window to write to at 
what time. 



MAT PRINT will print out all elements of an array. Example: 

! Print a aimpXe little list. 
1 

dim a (10) 

for i ■ 1 to 10 ! load th« array inaid* thia 

l«t a(l)-i I loop 
naxt i 



mat print a 
and 



! print the entire array 



PICTURE isacommand that will allow you to define the method 
of drawing a picture as a function. You can then call it as a 
subroutine and pass variables to it to alter your graphic. Then 
by calling the Draw command, you can draw your picture. 
Example: 

1 Polygon pictura. 

t 

picture Polygon (aidaa) 

for i-0 to aidaa t run through vertex points 
let u-2*Ei» (i/sidas) I find next vertex 
plot Cos (u) , sin (u) ; 

naxt i 

plot 

end picture 

aat windovf-1, 1, -1, 1 

for n-3 to 10 

draw Polygon (n) 
next n 

and 



t plot naxt point in series 
1 turn off baam when done 

t define ploting/acreen area 

f polygons of 3-10 sides 

! draw polygon of this order 



20 



Volume 1, #8 



TRANSFORMS, or Picture Transformations are methods of 
altering an entire picture before drav/ing it. True BASIC 
includes five methods ol transforming a picture: 

Shift(a,b) - slides picture over. Every point plotted at point (x,y) 
will be moved io location (x+a,y+b). 

Scale(a) - scales picture size. Every point plotted (x.y) will end 
up at location (x*a,y*a). 

Scale(a,b) - same as Scale(a) except points plotted (x,y) will end 
upat (x'a.y'b). 

Rotate(a) - rotate a picture (a) radians (or degrees) counter- 
clockwise about the window origin. 

Shear(a) - lean ail vertical lines in the picture clockwise by (a) 
radians or degrees. Points plotted (x,y) will move to location 
(x+y*tan(a).y). 

Transformations may also be applied to arrays, making array 
manipulation easier. 



ON-LINE HELP. True BASIC includes an extensive on-line 
Help facility. To use it, either enter 'Help<CR>' in the Command 
window, or hit the help key. You will be presented with a 
window and a requester. Scroll to the item you need help with 
and click twice (or type the first few letters of the command). A 
window will open up with text pertinent to the section that you 
need help with. 

PLOT - You can plot any point on the screen by using this 
command, 'Plot x,y'. If you want to plot many points, you could 
use 'Plot Points: Xl,y1;x2,y2;...'. If you want to draw lines 
between points, just add a final semicolon to the 'Plot x,y;' 
statement. That will leave the beam on. To fill an area enclosed 
by points, use the 'Plot Area: x1 ,y 1 ;x2,y2;...' command. 

The Plot command can be combined with the Window 
command to make quick and painless graphs. By adjusting the 
window size, you can create a screen with meaningful points. 

For example, if you wanted to graph the number of cars 
manufactured in North America every 5 years, over the last 30 
years, you could define the left edge of the screen as 1956, 
and the right edge as 1986. The top could be 100 million and 
the bottom could be 0. Then all you would have to do is to plug 
in the meaningful data, and watch the results appear when you 
run it. 

The True BASIC system allows you to use subroutine libraries. 
This means that if you have an often-used routine in your 
programs, you can incorporate it by storing it in a library, and 
calling it from your program. [Ed. These libraries are not the 
same as the Amiga libraries discussed in other articles, they are 
specific to True BASIC] 

You can pass variables and values to and from the library 
routines, as if you had written them yourself. This greatly 
simplifies the programming process. You can write and debug 



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several modules, then link them together in your program code 
to produce a finished program. 

You will not be disappointed when you open your copy of the 
True BASIC Language system. Inside you will find two 
manuals, the User's Guide and the Reference Manual, a disk 
containing many example programs, and a reference card. 

Both manuals are coil bound, and published by Addison 
Wesley, the same folks that brought out those excellent Amiga 
reference manuals. 

The User's Guide is aimed at first-time BASIC users. This 
manual assumes that you have no previous knowledge of 
BASIC, and leads you through the programming language 
quickly. It explains each command and demonstrates each in 
example programs. 

The manual is also a tutorial. You will be asked to edit and 
change some programs to examine the differences some 
parameters have on different commands. The User's Guide will 
leave the novice BASIC programmer feeling that they can easily 
write a program in True BASIC. 

The Reference Manual is the source for specific information 
about any True BASIC command. Each chapter details a 
different aspect of True BASIC, from graphics to error handling. 
The chapter presents numerous examples referring to the 
individual function described. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 21 



The manual also describes advanced concepts such as 
packing routines, graphic manipulation, file manipulation, and 
compatibility between different BASIC dialects. The 
experienced BASIC programmer should be very happy with 
this manual. 

True BASIC is a very neat package. It is quick, clean and bug 
free. I made a simple benchmark betweeo True Basic and 
Amiga Basic. True BASIC ran twice as fast. The benchmark 
was a simple program to count to a million. Since it is possible 
to produce stand-alone programs with the Run Time Package, 
you can easily use this language as a development "ool for 
commercial applications. 

Currently, there are a number of external program libraries 
available. These include 3-D graphics, a PC BASIC converter 
to translates other BASIC dialects to True BASIC code. 
Communications Support, Sorting and Searching, Advanced 
String Library, and a few more. 

The Amiga Developers Toolkit is due soon. This library 
includes routines for advanced graphics and sound functions, 
advanced animation routines, and access to all system 
functions. 

True BASIC presents itself as competing with Microsoft BASIC 
and Borland Turbo Pascal. Their brochures compare each to 
True BASIC. The True BASIC program was by far the easiest to 
read and the shortest program listed. [Ed.: After all, it is an 
advertisement.] 

I have included two short True BASIC programs in this review, 
to illustrate the features and simplicity of the language. In my 
personal opinion, this language should have been the one 
shipped originally with the Amiga from Commodore. I like it. 

SpaceZap.tb 

SpaceZap was written as a test to see if True BASIC would 
support intermediate level graphic routines. True BASIC does 
not currently support sprites and bobs but the True BASIC 

developer's toolkit will. 

As it currently stands, good quality graphics are available in 
True BASIC. Using Plot Area commands, in conjunction with 
Picture statements, you can simulate sprites, as is done in this 
program. True BASIC'S sound command is used to get the 
sound of the laser. 

By writing this program, I discovered that complex programs are 
made less complex by using a more sophisticated programming 
language. 

Listing of 'SpaeaZap' 



SpacaZap.TB 
a ahoot'-am up 
in cpaca writtan 
in Tjrua Baaie. 

By Bxmd Sriar 



INPUT prompt "Skill laval (0-5) 
LET »kill-«)tlll/5 



SET back "black" I Sat background to black 

SET window -500,500,-500,500 I Sat origin to canter screen 

LET ox-100 ! Initial ship X aiii position 

LET oy-100 < Initial ship y axis position 

LET a-9 1 Define Plot offset multipliar 

LET ahota-1 
1 
I Draw the ship 

I 

PLOT area : oi, oy+3*a ,- oi+2*a , oy- 2*a; ox, oy ; ox-2*a , oy- 

2*a;ox,oy+3*a 

! Draw ship 

BOX ^EP ox-3*a,ox+3*a,oy+3*a,oy-3*« in ahip? 

, .|, 1 Store ship shapa in 

CIEAB- ! string variable 

DO t *** MAIN LOOP *** 

LET tx=0 

BOX SHOW ship? at ox, oy ! Draw ahip 
BOX CLEAR ox,ox+S*a,oy+7*a,oy I Erase ehip 
GET MOOSE: x,y, state ! Cat mouse input for ship moveaant 
IF alis{ox+3*a)-10<0 than LET tx-tx+1 l--\ 
IF abB(oy+3*a)-10<0 then LET tx"tx+l IPlot X fi y 



IF atata>0 then LET tx-tx+1 



I Fire pressed? Add 1 to 

I shot count 

I and make noiaa 



I Hit anyone? 
! if BO, increase acora 
and increment skill count 
! Draw explosion 



"yellow" 



: skill I Cet skill level 



IF state>0 then 
FOR ss>^l to 3 

SOnHD 100, .03 

SODHD 500, .03 
HEXT as 
END IF 
IF tx-3 then 

LET scoreMSCore+l 
I LET ki=ki + 1 

LET ex=rnd*50 
SET color "red" 
FOR i=l to ax 

IF i>(ax/2) then SET color 

PLOT 0,0,-rnd*100,rnd*100 

PLOT 0,0;-md*100, -rnd*100 

PLOT 0,0,--md*100,tnd*100 

PLOT 0,0,-rnd»100, -md*100 
NEXT i 
CLEAR 

SET color "white" 
PRINT "Shots", -shots 

PRINT "Kills"; score 
PRINT "Skill ";skill»5 
LET oi=(xnd*1000)-500 
LET oy.(md*1000)-500 

END IF 

IF xloi then LET mx-x+xl 
IF yloy then LET »y-y+yl 
LET oxvox-mx/50 
LET oy»oy-iny/50 
IF state>l then 

GET M0nSE:Nl,n2,null 

SET color "red" 

LET shota-shots+1 
END IF 

PLOT 0, ! Draw cross-hairs in currant colour 

PLOT 50,0; 100,0 I White if no shot fired and 

PLOT -50,0; -100,0 1 Red if shot fired. 

PLOT 0,50; 0,100 
PLOT 0, -50; 0, -100 
IF •tate>l than SET color "white" t Fired? change colour 

! back to white 
IF ki>4 then t If you have mora than A kills at 

LET skill-skill-f .2 I the skill level, increase 

LET ki-1 I skill level by 1 

END IF 
LET xl«vx 

LET yl"y 

LET OX-OX+ (skill* (rnd*35)) I 

LIT oy-oy+ (skill* (riid*35) ) 

LET OX.OX+ (skill* (-md*35)) 

LET oy«oy+ (skill* (-md*35} ) t the ahip will move around. 

IF oy>490 than LET oy-4 90 

IF oy<-490 than LET oy— <90 

IF ox>490 than LET ox=4 90 

IF oy<-490 than LET ox— 4 90 
LOOP 
END 



I Display score 
Display kills 
Display Skill level 
Get X pos for new ship 
Get y pos for new ship 



t Hissed ship, compute x 
I Hiaaad ship, compute y 



I Reset fire button 
t change colour of cross-hairs 
I add one to the shot count 



Plot ship evasive manuvera 

1 based on skill level. 
^ higher skill, the more 



22 



Volume 1, #8 



Orbits.tb 

'Orbits' is a little program that I have adapted to the Amiga. It 
serves to demonstrate the ease of conversion to True BASIC 
from other dialects of BASIC. 

'Orbits' allows you to enter the gravities and positions of up to 
ten objects into the computer. 'Orbits' will then compute and 
display each object in relationio other objects. 

This program was easy to convert. The math formulas were 
transferred intact, and the program logic is unchanged. The 
only alterations made were in the screen size, and the screen 
addressing, with the Window and Plot statements. These were 
adjusted to take advantage of a higher resolution screen, with 
more colors available. 



Lioting of 'Orbits' 

Orbit;* 

From th* August 1980 Intar-faca hgm . 
Originally writt«n fox an Atari 400. 

Modified to Trua Baaic Auguct 20, 1986 

Sat up the aimulation 



SET mode "highlfi" 1 
SET window -500, 500, 



Entar Hi-raaolution graphic* moda 

-500, 500 

\ Sat origin at cantar of acraan and 
SET color "blua" t acraan width and haight at 1100 points 

SET back "black" 1 aach. 

DO wllila t < 2 or t > 10 f Gat number of objects 

PRINT "Humber of orbiting objacta (10 maximum) "; 
INPUT t 
LOOP 
! 

t Sat up mamory arraya 
1 

DIMG(IO), X(10), Y(10), 0(10), V{10), R{10) 
1 Changa tha 10 's for mora objacts. 
I 
1 Gat Tsluas for all objacts 



FOR i - 1 to t 

PRINT 'Tor orbiting object I" 

PRINT "Gravity-"; 

INPUT G(i) 

lat R(i)- G(i)/5 

PRINT "X-Coordinata-",- 

INPUT X{i) 

PRINT "Y-Coordinata-"; 

INPUT Yti) 

PRINT "X-Spaad-",- 

INPUT U(i) 

LET 0(i)»{0(i) ) /lOO 

PRINT "Y-Sp«ad-" ; 

INPUT V(i) 

LET V(i)-(V(i) )/100 
NEXT i 
CLEAR 



'. Sat gravity 

! Get initial X co-ord 
! Gat initial Y co-ord 
T Gat X-apaad 

T Gat Y-spead c 



End Guru Meditation Errors 



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IF 
IF 

IF 
IF 
IF 
IF 
IF 
IF 



1 or i ■■ 9 than SET color "blua" 

2 or i " 10 than SET color "xhita" 

3 than SET color "red" 



4 then SET color "yellow" 

5 then SET color "grean" 

6 then SET color "cyan" 

7 than SET color "maganta" 

8 than SET color "brown" 

box circle x(i) - (R{i) /2) , X (i) + {R(i) /2) , Y(i) - 
(R(i)/2),Y(i) + (R(l)/2) 

tPLOT X(i),Y{i); ! Plot first position beam on 

LET Y(i)=Y(i)+V(i) 

LET X(i)=X(i)+U(i) 

box circle X (i) - (R<i) /2) ,X (i)+ (R{i) /'2) , Y(i) - 
(R(i)/2),Y(i)+{R(i)/2) 

I PLOT X{i),Y(i) I Plot Bscond position beam off 
NEXT i 

I CLEAR ! Remove the " I " to erase trails 

LOOP 
END 



1 Go on to compute and plot points 

! 

DO 

FOR i = 1 to t 

FOR j - 1 to t 

IF i O j than 

LET Xl"X(j) -X(i) 
LET Yl-Y(j) -Y(i) 
LET D2i!.Xl*Xl+Yl*Yl 
LET Gl=G(j) / (D2*sqr (D2) ) 
LEl n<i)-U(i)+Gl*Xl 
LET V<i)-V(i)+C1*Y1 
END IF 



•AC- 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 23 



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Number of characters per field 1 ,024 






Global {System) Fields 40 user definable 


Number of fields per record 2,000 


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Using Your Printer 
with the Amiga 



'...the Amiga offers four basic ways of sending 
output to a printer. " 



by Sheldon Leemon 

Two of Ihe Amiga's most outstanding assets are its versatility 
and its friendliness. But sometimes even such positive 
qualities as these can present problems to users who are used 
to dealing with other computer systems. A prime example is 
the methods that the Amiga provides for the user to send 
output to printers. 

Most personal computers only allow the user to deal with the 
printer in a strictly prescribed fashion. The printer is handled as 
a one of two possible DOS devices, a parallel device if the 
printer is attached io the computer's Centronics parallel port, or 
a serial device if it is attached to the RS-232 modem port. In 
order to send characters to the printer you must open the 
device that corresponds to the method you've used to attach 
your printer to the computer, write the characters that you wish 
to send, and close the device. The characters that you send 
go directly to the printer, unchanged in any fashion. If you want 
to make the printer perform one of its special functions, like 
underlining or condensed print, you must send a printer- 
specific code directly to the printer. These codes are 
sometimes known as escape codes, since they generally start 
with the Escape character (ASCII character code 27, or 
GHR$(27) in BASIC). These codes vary from printer to printer, 
so the code that you use to invoke a special function on one 
printer will often not work for another printer. 

But the Amiga offers four basic ways of sending output to a 
printer. The most common of these methods employs the 
AmigaDOS device knowri as PRT:. The PRT: device avoids 
the two biggest drawbacks presented by the old-style handling 
of printer output. First, it eliminates the need to specify to a 
program whether your printer is connected as a serial or a 
parallel device. Secondly, it makes it possible for the program 
to activate special features such as underlining without 
knowing the specific codes used by the printer that is hooked 
up to the computer. 

When a program tries to access the PRT: device for the first 
time, two things happen. First, the software that handles the 
printer device checks the logical device DEVS: for a file called 
"System-Configuration" (the DEVS; device name is 
automatically assigned to the "Devs" directory on your startup 
disk). This file contains the settings that you have saved from 
the Preferences program. Your preference settings tell the 
PRT: device whether your printer is connected to the parallel or 
serial port, so it knows where to send its output. 



The PRT: device also reads the "System-Configuration" to 
determine what type of printer you are using. This is 
determined by the name of the printer you have highlighted in 
the "Change Printer" screen of the Preferences program. After 
PRT: reads the name of the printer, it tries to load a "printer 
driver" file of the same name in the Printers sub-directory of the 
DEVS: logical device. If you print a listing of the DEVS:Printers 
directory, you will see that it contains files corresponding to 
each of the printers listed in Preferences. These "printer 
driver" files tell the PRT: device exactly what special features 
are available on your printer, and how to access them. They 
also contain programs which can convert information about 
screen graphics into graphics image data for those printers that 
support dot graphics or color graphics printing. 

Once the PRT: device has read in the printer driver file for your 
printer, it "knows" how to activate your printers special features, 
so it is no longer necessary for a program to send that device 
the printer-specific codes for accessing those features. 
Instead, the program can (and must) send the "generic" Amiga 
codes for these features. There are currently 75 printer codes 
supported by the Amiga. A list of these codes, and Workbench 
printerdrivers that supportthem, appears in Table 1. 

For example, to activate your printer's underline feature from an 
Amiga BASIC program, you could send the Amiga "Underline 
on" code to PRT: (or LPT1: as it's also known in BASIC), 
regardless of what your printer's actual "start underline" codes 
are: 

OPEN "PRT:" FOR OUTPUT AS #1 

PRniT #1, CHR$(27)+" [4m"; 'Underline On code' 

CLOSE #1 



You could also use the BASIC LPRINT command to accomplish 
the same thing: 

LPRINT CHR$(0)+CEni$(27)+" [4m"; 

This method saves you the trouble of having to explicitly OPEN 
and CLOSE the PRT: device. The BASIC line printer 
commands, LPRINT and LLIST both send their output to the 
LPT1 :BIN device, which is a BASIC variation of PRT:. However, 
you may have noticed that we preceded the Amiga escape 
code (CHR$(27)+"[4m") with the non-printing character 



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CHR$(0). For some reason, the BASIC LPT1;BIN devices 
requires ttiat you send it a non-printing character such as 
CHR$(0) before sending the escape sequence. If you fail to 
send the CHR$(0), BASIC will not pass the subsequent Amiga 
escape codes correctly to the printer, and the special printer 
feature will not be activated. 

You should be aware that when you use the PRT: device, your 
printer will only respond to the Amiga printer codes. Any 
attempt to send printer-specific codes directly to the printer 
through the PRT: device is doomed to failure. 

The advantage of using the PRT: device over sending escape 
sequences directly to the printer should be obvious. A BASIC 
program that uses PRT: to access special printer features will 
work with any printer with a properly-installed printer driver, not 
just one particular printer. But note the qualification in that 
sentence, because it is an important one. In order to take 
advantage of the PRT: device, you must have a properly 
installed printer driver on the Workbench disk that you use to 
start the computer up. 

There are two steps to installing a printer driver on your 
Workbench startup disk. First, you must set your printer 
defaults using the Preferences program, and save them. 
Preferences stores its information in a file called "System- 
Configuration" which is located in the "Devs" directory of your 
startup disk. The second step is to make sure that there is a 



printer driver file in the "Devs/Printers" directory that 
corresponds to the printer that you selected in Preferences. 

The most important printer default that you must set from 
Preferences is the type of printer that you will be using. To 
specify your printer type, select the "Change Printers" screen 
from the main Preferences screen. A list of printers is displayed 
in the top right corner of the screen. The name of the printer 
that is currently selected is highlighted. To change the printer 
selection, click the mouse on the up arrow or down arrow next 
to the list. The standard Workbench disk contains support for a 
number of different printers; the Alphacom Alphapro 101, 
Brother HR-15XL, Diablo 630, Commodore CBM MPS 1000. 
Epson JX-80, Epson X-80 series (MX-80, FX-80, RX-80, LX-80, 
etc.), Diablo Advantage D25, Diablo C-150, Okidata Okimate 
20, Hewlett Packard LaserJet, Hewlett Packard LaserJet Plus, 
and Qume LetterPro 20. 

Even if you do not have one of the printers listed, your printer 
may work correctly if you choose one of the default printer 
settings. That is because many different printers share a 
number of the same escape codes. If you have a daisy-wheel 
printer, you might try setting your preferences for one of the 
daisy-wheel printers on the list, such as the Diablo 630 or 
Qume LetterPro 20. Several other manufacturers have tried to 
make their printers compatible with the escape codes they use. 
Likewise, among dot-matrix printers, Epson has set a de-facto 
standard by virtue of the widespread acceptance of its printers, 
including their adoption by IBM. Therefore, most of the new 
dot-matrix printers are to some extent "Epson compatible". 
These include such popular printers as the Star Micronics 
Gemini series, the Citizen 120D and the Panasonic 1090 and 
its kin. To the extent that these printers are truly Epson- 
compatible, you will obtain good results when you choose 
"Epson" as your printer type. You should be aware, however, 
that many printers that claim to be Epson compatible do not 
match every single special feature exactly. For one thing, there 
is not just one Epson standard. Earlier Epson models like the 
MX-80 do not have all of the same features and escape codes 
as the current models. Therefore, the Epson driver may not 
support every feature of your Epson-compatible printer 
correctly, particularly if your printer is a couple of years old. 

If you can not get your printer to work with one of the settings 
on the list, you may have to install a custom printer driver. 
Select "Custom" from the list of printers, and then type in the 
name of the custom printer in the box marked "Custom Printer 
Name" that appears below the list of printers. The default name 
is "generic", which installs a printer driver that ignores all special 
features. If worse comes to worst, you should be able to get a 
plain, unformatted printout by using this driver. However, it may 
be possible for you to obtain a custom printer driver that fully 
supports the features of your printer. 

There are several sources for such drivers. One of these is 
Commodore-Amiga itself, though its new releases of the 
Workbench. Just as version 1.1 added support for the HP 
Laserjet and Laserjet Plus, the upcoming version 1.2 adds 
support for the Apple Imagewriter II and Okidata ML92 printers. 
A second possible source is the manufacturer of your printer. 
Though there are few manufacturers that provide Amiga 
support for their printers (as Okidata did for the Okimate 20), 



26 



Volume 1, #8 



more of them would ff the demand was greater. There are 
commercial sources for printer drivers as well. Digital Creations 
(the makers of Gizmoz) sell printer drivers for the Apple 
Imagewriter II color printer, as well as for 24-pin dot-matrix 
printers like the Toshiba P1351. P351, and P351-C printers, 
and the C. Itch 24LQ. These printer drivers may be purchased 
with a printer cable for $65, or for $45 for the software alone. 
Software Supermarket makes available to Amiga dealers a 
program that they can use to create custom printer drivers. 
Dealers may buy the program for $150, and are granted an 
unlimited license to sell the drivers that they produce to their 
customers. The suggested price for these drivers is $35. In 
addition. Software Supermarket maintains a BBS that dealers 
may call during the evening to download drivers that have 
already been produced with the program, thus saving them the 
lime and effort of constructing one themselves. Though 
Software Supermarket will not sell its printer-driver construction 
program to end users, they do maintain a listing of dealers that 
participate in their program. Therefore, if you call them during 
business hours at (716) 873-5321, they will be able to refer you 
1o the dealer nearest you who can provide you with the printer 
driver that you need. 

An excellent (and much cheaper) source for printer drivers is 
the public domain. You can find a number of printer driver files 
posted on commercial information services such as 
CompuServe, PeopleLink, Delphi, and GEnie, as well as on 
local BBS's, If you are equipped with a modem and a password, 
you can obtain these drivers for next to nothing. Another 
source is the Amicus public domain library, which is available 
from the Amicus group, or from Amazing Computing. 

Amicus disk number 9 contains drivers for the Cannon PJ 
1080A ink jet printer, the C. Itoh Prowriter, the NEC 8025A, the 
Star Gemini 10, the Okidata ML92, the Panasonic KX-P109x 
series, the Epson LQBOO, and the Smith Corona D300. 
Additional drivers will probably appear on later volumes as well. 
Of course, if you are an adventurous (and fairly experienced) 
programmer, you could write your own printer driver. There are 
complete instructions and examples in Volume 2 of the ROM 
Kernel Manual. But you should be forewarned that it is not a 
trivial task. You must create several files in assembly language 
and/or C and link them together in order to produce a working 
driver. Nevertheless, customizing an existing driver to add 
special features should be within the grasp of most 
programmers. 

After you've selected the custom printer driver from 
Preferences, don't forget to copy the actual printer driver file to 
the correct directory. In order for the PRT: device to use the 
driver, it must be located in the Devs/Printers directory of the 
Workbench disk you use to start the computer. Don't forget 
that the converse is true as well. If you only have one printer, 
you are free to delete all of the other drivers in the 
"Devs/printers" directory. This can save you some room on 
your Workbench disk. 

Assuming that the volume name of the disk which contains the 
driver is DRIVER and the volume name of your Workbench disk 
is WORKBENCH, you could transfer the driver to your 
Workbench disk with the CLI command: 

COPY DRIVER :MyD river to WORKBENCH :Devs/Printere 



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Also, make sure that the name you entered in the "Custom 
Printer Name" box in Preferences is exactly the same as the 
name of the printer driver file. 

In addition to selecting a printer type from Preferences, there 
are several other settings that you should attend to as well. 
The default connection for the printer is through the parallel 
port, so if you are using a serial printer hooked up to the 
modem port, be sure to click on the "Serial" icon in the upper 
left corner of the "Change Printers" screen. You may specify 
the length of the paper that you are using and whether it is 
continuous-feed fanfold paper, or single sheets. You may 
select line spacing of 6 or 8 lines per inch, and left and right 
margins settings. Also, you may choose the size of the type 
{Pica, Elite, or Condensed), and either draft or near-letter 
quality. 

While all programs have access to these preference settings, 
they are free to adopt or ignore ttiem. Some prefer 1o present 
their own menus allowing the user to select these options, and 
others use the expressed preference of the user as a default. 
Just remember that even though a program may have its own 
menu for margin settings and the like, it may also be affected by 
the Preference settings. Even some programs that print 
screen graphics may be affected by the margin settings. You 
will find that the size of the graphics printout can be affected by 
the margin settings. The moral of the story is, if you can't get a 
proper printout by adjusting the program settings, try changing 
the Preference settings as well. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 27 



The final printer settings that you can make from Preferences 
are on the "Graphic Select" screen. For most dot-matrix 
printers, the default settings are fine, and you need not make 
any changes. In some cases, Ihough, you will need to make 
some adjustments. If you have a color printer, make sure that 
you select "Color" from the "Shade" box at the bottom-left of 
the screen. By default, screen graphics are printed 
horizontally, but for a larger image you can select to print them 
vertically as well. You may find in some cases that you get a 
better aspect ratio from vertical printing as well (pictures that 
look "scrunched" horizontally may print truer to the screen 
version vertically). Also, if you are printing a lot of images that 
consist of light colored patterns on a dark background, you may 
wish to switch to Negative printing, so that the pattern will be 
printed instead oi the dark background. This can save a lot of 
time, as well as wear and tear on ribbons and print heads. 

One final reminder about the Preference program. Be sure to 
exit the program with the Save option, in order to save your 
selections to disk. Once you have saved your preferences to 
one disk, you may transfer them to any other simply by copying 
the "Devs/System-Configuration" file from that disk to the 
"Devs" directory of Ihe new disk. 

Although using the PRT: device is the simplest way for most 
applications to communicate with the printer, we will briefly 
touch on the other methods available. In addition to PRT:, 
there are two other AmigaDOS devices that you can use to 
output data to a printer. These two are SER:, the serial device, 
and PAR:, the parallel device. To use these devices you follow 



the procedure outline at the beginning of the article. First, you 
must know how the printer Is connected to the Amiga, so that 
you can choose either the parallel or serial port. Then, you 
open that device and send characters to it. You may do this 
directly from a program, or use one of the DOS commands like 
COPY or TYPE send the contents of a file to the device. The 
characters that you send to either port are not examined or 
translated in any way, so in order to invoke special printer 
features you must send the exact printer codes for the 
particular printer that you are using. Use of PAR: should be 
restricted to those situations where you can be sure of the kind 
of printer thai will be used, such as for software that is to be 
used on one machine only. PAR: can also be very helpful in 
troubleshooting a printer problem. If you are unsure of whether 
the problem lies with your software printer driver or your 
hardware printer connection, you can send data directly to 
PAR:. Since this data is output directly to the printer without 
any translation, you can tell if your printer hardware is receiving 
it correctly. 

The final method for accessing a printer with the Amiga is for 
programmers only. Experienced programmers who are 
comfortable working with hardware devices at the Operating 
System level can bypass the AmigaDOS printer devices, and 
address the hardware device "printer.device". This device 
gives Ihe programmer complete control over the printer. It 
allows him to send Amiga escape sequences which will then be 
translated by the printer driver to the printer specific codes, or 
to send characters directly to the printer with no processing at 
all. In either case, the programmer need not know how the 
printer is connected to the Amiga. 



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28 



Volume 1, #8 



The following BASIC program gives examples of sending 
printer escape codes through the PAR; device and through 
the PRT: device, both by opening the device directly, and by 
using the LPRINT command: 



******* ******* *•*!**« ******* ************* ******•*>* 

* Frint«rcoda.ba« by Sheldon L«emon * 

* * 

* This program dwnonstrates thre* vays to send * 

* Eacapa codaa to your printer from Amiga * 

* EASIC. Iha first aands printer-apacif ic * 

* codas to tha PAR: or SERr device (depending * 

* on how your printer is connected to tha * 

* Amiga) . A program written uaing thia method * 

* will only work correctly with that apacific * 

* printer (in thia case, my Toahiba P1351) . * 

* obvioualy, thia mathod ia not recommended * 

* unlaaa thera ia no other choice. * 

* * 

* Tha follswlng aaetiona aand Aioiga-apacific * 

* eodaa to the PRT: device. Prograna ualng * 

* thaaa mathoda will work with Atry printer * 

* that la correctly inatallad from Frafaraneaa. * 

* * 
*************************************************** 



' Sat up atringa uaing printar-apeclfic codaa 

AS " CHJl$(27)+"!"+"Enlargad Print ia on" 

B$ - CKR$(27)+CHR5(34)+"Enlargad Print la off" 

C$ - CKRS (27)+"I"+"Ondarline ia on" 

D$ - CKRS(27)+"J"+" Dndorline la off" 

' Send them to PAR: daviea 

OPEN "PAR:" FOR OqTPDT AS |1 
PRINT #1, A$;" ";B$;CHRS(13) 

PRINT #1, C$;D$;CHRS{13) 
CLOSE *1 

Sat up atringa uaing generic Amiga printer codaa 

A$ - CHR$(27)+"[6w"+"Enlarged Print ia on" 
B$ - CHR$ (27)+"£Sw"+"Enlarged Print ia off" 
C$ » CHR$(27)+"£4m"+"Dnderllna ia on" 
D$ - CHR$(27)+"|24n"+" nndarllna ia off" 

' Sand th«o to FRT: davica (alao eallad LPTl : 
' by Amiga BASIC) . 

OPEK "PRT:" FOR OniPUT AS |1 
PRINT II, A$;" ";BS 

PRINT #1, CS;D$ 
CLOSE tl 

' LPRXKT them. LFRINT aanda Ita output to FRT: 

• (actually, to BASIC LPT1:BIN device) . In order to 

make Amiga aacapa codaa work, you KUST remember to 
' aend CHR$(0) or other non-printing character firat. 



LPftlKT CBRS(O) +AS; " 
LPRINT CHRS(O) +CS;D$ 



'■;B$ 



NOT ANOTHER ART DISK!, 



END 'End of Frintarcoda.baa 

Although you may use any of the three methods shown for 
sending data to a printer, you should be aware that it may not 
always be possible to mix them in a single program. All three 
methods use the same printer port hardware. Therefore, it is 
not possible to OPEN the PAR: device when the PRT: is 
already open--lo do so generates a "file already open" error. 
When dealing with PAR: or PRT:, it is at least possible lo 
CLOSE one device before OPENing another. But using 
LPRINT OPENS the printer device and leaves it open even 
after the printing is complete. The only way to CLOSE the 
printer after an LPRINT statement is to issue a CLEAR, which 



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closes all files, but also wipes out the value of all of your 
variables. This makes it impractical to try to open the PRT: or 
PAR: device in the same program which uses the LPRINT 
statement. 

The final question that many Amiga owners have about using 
their printers with the Amiga is how to do an exact bit-by-bit 
copy of their graphics screen to the printer. This is commonly 
known as a screen dump. IBM and IBM-compatible personal 
computer have a special key combination that you can press to 
send the screen graphics to the printer at any time. The Amiga, 
however, does not have a similar feature. Instead, there is a 
built-in Operating System routine that automatically performs a 
screen dump. But you must have some program call to that 
routine. Some programs, like Notepad and Deluxe Paint, 
provide screen-printing facilities from a menu. But there are 
also a number of public domain screen-dump programs that 
allow you to send any graphics screen to your printer. 

Amicus Disk #8 contains two of these programs, and one of 
them, Scrimper, was featured in a previous issue of Amazing 
Computing. And as this is being written, Discovery Software is 
readying its release of GRABBIT, a screen dump program that 
takes the same "hot key" approach as the IBM PC. This 
program sells for $29.95, and allows you to use a CTRL-ALT 
key combination to print the screen at any time. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 29 



TABLE 1 : Amiga Printer Codes 



Function 



Escapa 
Saquance* 



PrintQro Supporting 



Notes 



Kasct c 

lniti«lii« #1 

Llnafcad D 

R*tucn + lin«f««d I 

Savara* linafaad M 

Mosul charictar ((t [Om 

Italic* on [3= 

Italic, off [23iii 

tJndarlina on E*™ 

Dndarlina off (24jn 

Boldfaca on [In 

Boldfaca off [22m 

Sat Focaground Color [nm 
(n i» a two-digit ASCII nuaibar 

Sat Background Color [nm 
(n i» » two-digit ASCII numbar 

Homal pitch [Ow 

Elita on [2w 

Elita off [Iw 

Condanaad fin* on [4h 

Condanaad off [3w 

Enlargad on [Ew 

Inlargad off [5w 

Shadow Print on [6"i 

Shadow Print off 15" i 

Doublaitrika on [4"i 

Doubla»trilca off [3"i 

NIQ on [2" I 

NI^ off [l"i 

Supacacript on [2t 

Suparacript off [Iv 

Subacript on [4v 

Subacript off [3v 

IToimalixa tha Una [Ov 

Partial lina up L 

Partial lina down K 

as charactar aat (B 

Franch charactar aat (R 

Carman charactar aat (K 

Die charactar aat (A 

Daniah I char, aat (E 

Swadiah charactar aat (H 

Italian charactar aat (Y 

Spanlah charactar aat (Z 

Japanaaa char, aat (J 

Horwaigan char, aat (S 

Daniah II char, aat (C 

Proportional on [ 2p 

Proportional off [Ip 

Proportional claar [Op 

Sat prop, off aat [n E 

Xuto laft juatify [5 r 

Auto right juatify (7 r 

Auto fiHl juatify [ST 

Auto Juatify off [0 F 
Lattar apaca (juatify) [3 F 
Word fill (auto cantar) [1 F 

1/8" lina apacing [Ox 

i/6" Una apacing [!» 

Sat form langth n [nt 

Barf akip n (n>0) [nq 

Parf akip off [Oq 

Laft margin aat #9 

Right margin aat fO 

Top margin aat #6 

Bottom aarg aat 12 

TIB margins [nl;n2r 

L£R margin [nl;n2a 

Claar narglna 13 

Sat horlxental tab M 

Sat vartical tab J 

Claar horizontal tab [Og 

Claar all horiz. taba [3g 

Claar vartical tab [Ig 

Claar all Tart, taba t4g 

Claar all b £ v taba #4 

Sat dafault taba 15 

Extandad coonanda [n''x 



Al Br d6 Cm Ji Ep D* Do ok Hp Ii+ Ql 
XI Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da DC Ok Hp L+ Ql 
Al Br D6 Cm Jl Ep Hp L+ Ql 

Al Br D6 Cm Jr Ep Da DC Ok Hp L+ Ql 
Al Br D6 Jx D.m Ql 

Al Br D6 Cm Ji Ep Da Ok Hp W- Ql 

Jjt Ep Ok Hp lr^ 

Jx Ep Ok Hp L+ 

Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Ok Hp L+ Ql 

Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Ok Hp L+ Ql 

Al Br D6 Cn Ji Ep Da Hp L+ Ql 

Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Hp I>+ Ql 

Br Jx Da DC Ql 

from 30-39) 

De Ql 

from 40-49) 
Al Br DS Cm Jx Ep Da Ok Hp L+ Ql 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Ok Hp L+ Ql 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Ok Hp L+ Ql 
Al Br D6 CD Jx Ep Da Ok Hp L+ Ql 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Ok Hp I<+ Ql 
Cm Jx Ep Ok 
Cm Jx Ep Ok 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Dn Ql 

Al Br oe cm Jk Ep Da Ql 

Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Hp Irl- Ql 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Hp 1+ Ql 
Cm J^ Ep 
Cm Jx Ep 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Dn Dc Ok Hp L+ Ql 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep DM Dc Ok Hp L+ Ql 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Cc Ok Hp W- Ql 
Al Br DS Cm Jx Ep Da Dc Ok Hp lA- Ql 
Al Br DS Cm Jx Ep Da Dc Ok Hp lA Ql 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Dli Ok Hp L+ Ql 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Dn Ok Hp L+ Ql 
CSB Jx Ip Hp L+ 

Cm Jx Ep 
Cm JX Ep 

cm JX Ep Hp L+ 

Cm Jk Ep 
Cm Jx Ep 
Cm Jx Ep 
Cm Jx Ep 

Cm Jx Ep Hp Irl- 

Cm JX Ep 
Cm Jk Ep 
Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Ok Hp Irl- Ql 

Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Ok Hp L+ Ql 

Al Br D6 Da Ok Hp 1<+ Ql 

Br Da Ql 

Al D£ Jx Ep Da 

Al Jx Ep 

Cia JX Ep 
Al DS Cm A Ep Da Rp 

JX Ep 
D6 JX Ep 

Al Br D£ Cm JX Ep Da Ok Hp Ii+ Ql 

Al Br D6 CD JX Ep Da Ok Hp JA Ql 

Al Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Dc Ok Hp lA Ql 
Cm Jx Ep Da Ok Hp L+ 

Cm JX Ep Da Ok Hp L+ 

Al Br De Da DC Ql 

Al Br Da DC Ql 

Al Br De Da 

Al Br DE Da 

Hp L+ Ql 
Br D6 Cm Jx Ep Da Dc Hp lA 

Br DS Cm Jx Ep Da DC Hp lA Ql 

Br D6 Da DC 

Br D6 Da 

Be D6 Da Dc 

Br D6 Qa Jx Ep Da Dc 
Br D6 Da Dc 

Br d€ C^ Jx Ep 
Br D6 Cm JX Ep Da DC 
Br D£ Cm J^ Ep Da Dc 



The abbreviations used lorlhe printers are: 

Al = Alphacom Alphapro 101 

Br = Brother HR-15XL 

D6 = Diablo 630 

Cm = Commodore OM tffS 1000 

Jx = Epson JX-60 

Ep = Epaon X-80 sariea 

Da = Diablo Advantage D25 

Dc = Diablo C-150 

Ok = Okidata Okimata 20 

Hp = Hewlett Packard Laser Jet 

L+ = Hewlett Packard lAser Jet Plus 

Ql = Quma LetterPro 20 



' All escape codes must be preceded by the ESC 
character (ASCII 27 or CHR$(27) in BASIC). In addition, 
when sending escape codes to the PRT: device via the 
Amiga BASIC LPRINT statement, you must precede the 
ESC character with a non-printing character, such as 
CHR$(0). For example, to send the code for "Underline 
on", you would send character 27 to the PRT: device, 
followed by the character string "[4m". In BASIC you 
could accomplish this with the statement: LPRINT 
CHR$(0)+CHR$(27)+"[4m"; 

n In the table above, a bwer case n stands for a decimal 
number, expressed as a set of ASCII digits, for example 
"12". For example, to set the form length to 50 lines, 
you would send ASCII character 27, followed by the 
string "501". In BASIC this would read: LPRINT 
CHR$(0)+CHR$(27)+''50t"; 



•AC- 



Attention Developers: 

Do you need a programmer 
who can write? 



New England 
Technical 
Services 

(401)683-2789 



Software Documentation Specialists 



30 



Volume 1, #S 



Forth! 



;ft*-^>;>s^y;■;s:>>;^v-;^:: 



"If you need a special tool for a special job 
...make \i yourself y 



by Jon Bryan 

Tools 

I've heard it said that the best tool is the one that "comes easily 
to hand." Expert craftsmen have a habit of making their own 
tools for just that reason. What better way to make a tool "come 
easily to hand" than to build it yourself? Woodworker, 
machinist, or programmer, the principle is the same. If you 
need a special tool for a special job, often the best (and maybe 
the only) way to gel it is to make it yourself. 

For decades programmers have created and refined high-level 
languages to make them "come easily to hand." One approach 
is to generalize and try to design a language to be all things to 
all people. The Forth philosophy is to provide a number of 
simple tools which can be used to build more complex ones. 

As 1 promised a couple of installments back, I'm working on a 
three-dimensional simulation of a bouncing ball. At first I 
thought that I would probably use Blitter Objects (BOBs) for the 
ball images but I've since learned a few more things. I had 
thought that hardware Sprites were restricted to three colors 
plus transparent but upon receiving my long-awaited copy of 
the Hardware Reference Manual I found that 1 was wrong. 

The Amiga actually has two kinds of hardware Sprite. A 
"simple" sprite is restricted to three colors, but there is another 
type called an "attached" sprite which can have fifteen colors 
(plus transparent). After some study I decided that I needed to 
build some tools for the creation of both simple and attached 
sprites. I would like to show you these tools and explain a few 
of the things I learned about sprites while creating them. 

Sprites, to quote the manual, are "hardware objects that are 
created and moved independently of the playfield display and 
independently of each other." The mouse cursor is a sprite, by 
the way. There are eight sprite channels, allowing eight simple 
sprites to be created, or four attached sprites, A sprite is always 
1 6 pixels wide but may be any number of scan lines tall. Sprites 
may also be reused within a display field, allowing more than 
eight sprites to be displayed on the screen under special 
circumstances. The size of a sprite is based on a pixel that 
corresponds to the low-resolution non-interlaced (320x200) 
display mode, which is also the resolution for movement of the 
sprite. 



A sprite is stored in the Amiga's memory as pairs of 16-bit 
words. The first pair of words are control words which contain 
information on the position at which the sprite is to be displayed 
and how tall it is. Following the two control words are the pairs 
of words which constitute the sprite image. There is one pair 
for each scan line. Following the image are two more control 
words which are used when the sprite is reused within the 
same display. 

If the numbers through 3 represent the available colors, a 
sprite might be represented like this: 

0000122332210000 
0001223333221000 
0012233333222100 
0001223333221000 
0000122332210000 

This is not the way the sprite is stored in memory, however. 
Each line of the sprite image must be translated into two 16-bit 
words. The first tine of the example sprite would be written into 
memory as the following binary values: 

0000100110010000, 0000011111100000 

Each bit of the first word provides the least-significant bit of the 
color selector number, while the second word provides the 
most-significant bit. In the following representation each pair of 
digits represents the color selector for one pixel. 

0000100110010000 <--Fljrst word 

I I I I I I I I I I I I I 1 1 I 

OOOOOllllllOOOOO <— Second word 

A simple sprite's two bit planes restrict the number of colors to 
four, one of which is transparent, and each sprite has a fixed set 
of color registers. Sprite uses registers 17-19, sprite 1 gets 
its colors from registers 21-23, etc. Registers 16, 20, 24 and 
28 aren't used by simple sprites because those values are 
always transparent. 

If more colors are desired it is necessary to use an "attached" 
sprite, which is created by superimposing (wo simple sprites. 
This effectively doubles the number of bit planes and allows 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 



31 



!he use of sixteen c»tors. The odd-numbered sprite of the pair 
must have the "attach" bit set in the second control word, which 
causes the hardware to use the bits in both sprites to select the 
color for each pixel. 

The Hardware manual gives this example of an attached 
sprite image. 

0000154444510000 
0001564444651000 
0015676446765100 

0001564444651000 
0000154444510000 

and here are the corresponding dala words for the first line and 
!he sprite they're assigned to 

OOOOlloaDDllOOOO <— lit Hsrd sf «v*n <prit« 
I I I I I t I I I I I I I I I I 

00 000000000000 <— .•cona word or •Twi «prit« 

1 1 1 I I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 I I I I 

OOOOOllllllOOOOO <— fir»t vord or odd iprlt* 
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 
OOOOOOOOODDOOOOO < — ■•coDd word at odd iprlt* 

The odd-numbered sprite provides the most significant bits 
of the color selector. Attached sprites use color registers 17- 
31 (16 being transparent}. The restrictions which apply to 
attached sprites are that only four sprites may be used and that 
the sprites must be consecutive pairs. Sprite number 1 may be 
attached 10 sprite 0. sprite 3 to 2, and so on. 

The ROM Kernel calls which manipulate hardware sprites are 
GetSprite, FreeSprite, ChangeSprite and MoveSprite. Once 
the appropriate data structures are created and initialized these 
calls handle all the details of assigning and moving hardware 
sprites. 

That's it for this installment. I direct your study to the Hardware 
Reference Manual for more details including sprite priority and 
reuse. Fortherest I'll let the code speak for itself. 

\ Hardware Sprite Tools 0S-H-8 6;jrb 

DECIMAL •' •■ '■ ' ■ ' 

256 CONSTANT ScanBufSiza 

CREATE ScanBuf ScanBufSize ALLOT 

\ The definition for "SpritaLins" is primitive. It 
\ will parse 16 characters composing one scan line 
\ of the sprite and leave the starting and ending 
\ address of the resulting string. It's not smart 
\ enough to handle comments on the same line as tha 
\ sprite data unless the comment precedes the data. 

; SpriteLine ( — addrl\addr2 ) 

ScanBuf ScanBufSize INFIIiE g READ . TEXT 1- ( 
trim delimiter ) 

ScanBuf + DDP 16 - ; 

\ "?SpritePixel" attempts to convert a character 

\ into a legal value for a sprite pixel . 

: ?SpritePixel ( characterXbase — value ) 
DIGIT NOT ERROR" Illegal Sprite Color" ; 

\ Each character in the sprite definition will 
\ represent two bits of data, one for each bit 
\ plane . 



SWAP 


2 


/MOD 


SWAP 


16 


SCALE 


OR 






OVER 


e 


2* 


OR SWAP 


! ( 



\ '•0R_SpritePl4nes" will break out those bits and 
\ rotate them into place. Remember that the data 
S for a simple sprite is stored as pairs of 16-bit 
\ words, with the first word representing the 
\ "least-significant" plane. 

: OR_SpritePlanes ( number\address — ) 

{ separate the two bits) 
( slide low-order bit up a word) 
( put them back together) 
( move stored value to the left) 
( and OR the new bits into place.) 



\ "Sprite" expects a height parameter which 

\ represents the number of 

\ scan lines in the simple sprite. 

: Sprite ( height — ) 
DUP 4* 8+ 

CREATE HERE 

LOCALS I image size height | 
size ALLOT image size ERASE 

\ allocate and clear the space 

4 ADDR.OF image -H 
\ step over SPRxPOS and SPRxCTL 
height 
DO SpriteLine 

DO IC@ 4 ?SpritePixeI Image 
OR_SpriteP lanes 

LOOP 4 ADDR.OF image +! 
LOOP ; 

\ The following image is courtesy of the Hardware 
\ Reference Manual : 

5 Sprite Shiplmage 
0000122332210000 
0001223333221000 
0012223333222100 
0001223333221000 
0000122332210000 

\ Now we define an occurence of a EimpleSprite 
\ structure named "Ship" and initialize it. 

struct SimpleSprite Ship 

Shiplmage Ship +EEPo6CtlData ! 

5 Ship tssHeight W! 

Ship -I-seX W! 

Ship +sbY W! 

Ship +EENum W! 
structend 

\ The sprite may be displayed by executing the 

\ GetSprite and ChangeSprite system calls, as 

\ follows : 

\ 

\ 

\ 

\ 

\ 

\ 

\ 



Ship 1 GetSprite (get the one you ask for) 
ViewAddress -FvViewPort @ Ship Shiplmage 
ChangeSprite 

and using the following definition to move the 
sprite around. 



MoveShip ( x\y — ) 
LOCALS] y x | 
ViewAddress -HvViewPort 



g Ship X y MoveSprite 



32 



Volume 1, ^ 



\ "Attaohad" sprites ar» a little bit more complex - 
\ First a data structure: 

structute AttachedSprite 

siiifdeSprito STRHCT: +asEvonSprite 

simpleSprita STRUCT: +asOddSprito 
structure. end 

\ fin attached sprite has four bit planes which it 

\ builds by "attaching" the two bit planes of an odd- 

\ numbered sprite to those of an even-numbered 

\ sprite. The two sprites used are defined in the 

\ same way that a single sprite is, except that the 

\ odd-num sprite has its "attach" bit set (bit 7 
\ of its second control word) . The other 
\ restriction is that consecutive sprites must bs 
\ used. In other words, sprite 1 can be attached 
\ to sprite 0, sprite 3 to sprite 2, etc. 

\ Since there are four planes, breaXincf out the 

\ bits is more eoiqslex. The odd-numbered sprite 
\ contains the most-significant bits. 

: OR_AttachedPlanes (char\even spriteNodd sprite-- ) 
LOCM.SI odd even | 
DUE 4/ odd OR_SpritePlanes \ shift the two MSB s 
3 AND even 0R_5priteP lanes ; 

\ mas)c the two lowest bits 



( height ~ ) 



\ Number of bytes in image 
\ Plus control words 
\ Total size 

size offset height | 



"attached" image 



: Attached 
DCP 4* 
B + 

DW 2* 
CREATE HERE 
IjOCALS ] image 
offset 2+ W, 

\ lay down offset to 
2 ADDR.OF image +! 

\ increment pointec into array 
size ALLOT image size ERASE \ make room 
12B image offset + ■ 

\ set "attach" bit in odd-numbered sprite 
4 ADDR.OF image +! 

\ increment over SPRxPOS and SPftxCTL 
height 
DO SpriteLlne 

DO ice 16 ?SpritaPixel 

\ Base 16 allows characters 0-F 
image image offset + OR_AttachedPlanes 
LOOP 4 ADDR.OF Image -t-! 
LOOP ; 

\ Now a couple of words to extract the addresses 
\ of the images. 

: +Evenljn«go ( addrl -- addr2 ) 

\ leave address of even sprite 
image 
2+ ; 

: +0ddlmage ( addrl — addr2 ) 

\ ditto for the odd-numbered image 
DUP we + ; 

\ The values for the following ' image were calculated 
\ using an equation gleaned from "Graphics and Imago 



SciCalc™ 

Scientific Calculator For The Amiga™ 



|E| SclCa.c : ^ .-. lOIB 


1-1.23*56789 -123i fcir] [CE] |Fltl |Dc(l [Hyp] 


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OonT lei the prica fool you! SciCalc has tull algebraic hisrarcy and 
fealures an aulomallc constant Ihal is a delighl to use. Choosa from 
3 display modes: Floaling Point, Scisntidc. or Fixed Point.. 

Press the Hyp(ott)Olic) key twice and a whole now page o1 functions is 
at your (ingenips. No long wails ■ SciCalc has been available since 
March. Your orderwilh manual will be sent by First Class mail. 

FaaturH 

• Large Equals Key (Display) ■ Color HigWighling 

• AdjuslibiB Size • Full Error Trapping 

■ 10 Memories • 2 Dimensional Statistics 

• Powers • Unoar Regression 
•Logarithms -Linear Estimation 

• Trigonometry (D/R/G) • Correialion Coeflciont 
•Hyperbolics • Factorials to 1 70 

■ Polar/Rectangular Convorsions. antf mora. 

Deafers Inquiries Welcoine 

Send Check lor $14.9510: 

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It is arguable that 
In fact, I have 



\ Processing" by Theo Pavlidis. 
\ you could do as well freehand. 
\ touched up the image a bit. 

15 Attached Ball Image 
OOOOOOBBBBOOOOOO 
OOOOCDEEEEDCOOOO 
008CDEEFFEEDC800 
ACDEEFFEEDCAO 
07ABCDEEEEDCBA7 
07 9ABCCDDCCBA970 
4689ABBBBBBA9ae4 
4 57 8 9 9AAAA9 98 75 4 
4456778888776544 
03445Eeee6e54430 
0334444444444330 
0033344444433300 
0033333333333300 
0000333333330000 
0000003333000000 



struct AttachedSprite Ball 

Ball_lmag6 +Evenlmage Ball +aeEvenSprite 
'fssPoEctldata I 

Ball^Image -K>ddlmage Ball +a»OddSprite 
+ssPosctldata ! 

15 Ball +aBEvenSprite +BBH6ight W! 

Ball +asEvenSprite -I-bbX W! 

Ball +asEvenSprite +sbY H! 

Ball +aBEvenSprite +seNum Wl 

15 Ball +asOddSprite +BBHeight W? 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 



33 



Finally, a programming environment that's 
been designed specifically for the Amiga.. ^ ^ 
mulli-Forth'" for the Amiga. ^^ 

Multi-Forth is a neiu language which Luas designed to unleash the full poaicr of 
the Amiga. Mulli-Forth prouldes complete access to all Amiga libraries including 
intuition. It compiles stand-alone applications in seconds (other languages 
typically take seueral minutes). There are no royalties, and no "leuels." CSI 
prouides the best support of any computer language uendor, including CSI 
technical hot line, our ouin CompuSerue net (GO FORTH), and comprchensiue 
documentation. Programming the amazing Rmiga is Interactiue and fun irith 
Multi-Forth. Contact us for a technical data sheet luith the complete list of 
Multi-Forth's features. 



Simplij the best programming 
environment for the Amiga. 
$179 Introductorg price. 

niulti-Forth is a trademark of Creative Solutions. Inc. 
Hmiga is a trademark of Gommodore-Hmiga. Inc. 



Creative Solulions. Inc. 

17D1 Randolph Hoad Suite 12 
RockvillB, mo 2DB52 
(3Dl)9B4-D2B2inmDDr 
1-BDO-FDHTHDK 



Ball +aBOddSprite +bsX W! 
Ball +aBOddSprite +say H! 
Ball +asOddSprlte +bsNuiii W! 

Btructend 

\ Executing this definition will set up the colors 
\ for the ball . It will also change the color of 

\ your mouse cursor. 



: 17-31. Greys { -- ) 

\ Only for registerE 17 through 31 
ViewAddresB +vViewPort 6 
16 1 DO 

DUP i 16 + 1 i i SetRGB4 
LOOP DROP ; 

\ The procedure for getting an attached sprite on 
\ the screen is more complex. Remember, you have 
\ to use consecutive sprites, and the odd-numbered 
sprite has to be the "attached" sprite. 



Ball +asEvenSprite 2 
Ball +asOddSprit6 3 
ViewAddress +vViewPort 
Ball_lmage +Evenlmage 
ChangaSprite 
ViewAddress +vViewPort 
Ball_Image +OddImage 
ChangeSprite 



GetSprlte . 
GetSprite . 

e Ball +asEvenSprita 



e Ball -(-asOddSprlte 



\ One detail which 1 haven't yet been aile to find 
\ documented ie that when MoveSprite is used to move 
\ the even-numbered sprite in the attached pair, it 
\ also moves the odd-numbered sprite. That's why 
\ the following definition works. 



MoveBall ( x\y -- ) 
LOCALS I y X I 
ViewAddress +vVi©wPort @ 

HoveSprite ; 



Ball +asEvenSprite x y 



\ Please keep in mind that the code presented here 
\ represents tools. It obviously won't do much by 
\ itself. I'm working on incorporating all this 
\ into a demo, but it will be a little while yet. 
\ If you want to have some fun, write a little 
\ routine to move the sprite around the screen 
\ continuously, then grab the Workbench drag bar 
\ and move the screen up and down. Try it when the 
\ sprite isn't moving, too. 



•AC- 



34 



Volume 1, #8 



Amazing Reviews.,. 

Easyl 

from Anakin Research, Inc, 

Tired of drawing with the mouse 
...then this pad may do the trick 



by Keith Conforti 
AC Art Director 

Recently, Amazing Computing™ ran a test on Easyl™, a newly 
developed graphics tablet. Easyl™ is created by Anakin 
Research Inc.™. The kit includes a pressure-sensitive pad, a 
bus connector, and an Easyl™ program disk. The pad and bus 
are also compatible with Aegis Images™ and DeluxePaint™. 

The pressure-sensitive pad for Easyl™ is connected to the bus 
connector box which is attached to the Amiga bus on the side 
of your machine. Easyl™ responds to any pointed instrument, 
but it is recommended that the user works only with a dull no. 2 
pencil. The tablet also has a sixteen color palette, clear 
command, erase command, in-fill command, and save 
command, all activated by finger touch keys. The drawing 
surface is 8 1/2 by 1 1 inches, standard to most sheets of paper. 



Easy(™'s Software 

When we first received Easyl™, we tried running it with its own 
program. Loading the program was fairly simple and quick, but 
its capabilities were rather limited. The response from the pad 
was somewhat sensitive, but also seemingly sluggish. I found 
the fingertip functions to be very temperamental and repetitive. 
At times I could not change colors without entering the 
command (our or five times before succeeding, especially with 
the higher numbered (9-16) colors on the palette. Also, the in- 
fill function would sometimes erase previous, unsaved in-filled 
shapes, and the save would not always register new lines. 

The instructions call for a "light touch" on the pad keys, but that 
did not always remedy the situation. As a result, using the 
Easyl™ program provided with the pad was, at limes, very 
frustrating. However, I did persist long enough to create the 
school-house on this month's cover. 

Easyl™ is provided with this program and its source code. The 
source code is a gateway into creating a drawing package that 
fits your needs. That is, if you are capable of doing your own 
programing. 



DeluxePaint™ 

Not very satisfied with the Easyl™ program as it stood, I decided 
to use the DeluxePaint™ program to see if the results would be 
any better. Loading Easyl™ with DeluxePaint proved to be no 



easy task. The copy protection of DeluxePaint™ made it almost 
impossible to install the drivers on the disk (who wants to fool 
with their master disk). We never could manage to get that 
particular program to run with Easyl™. 



Ageis Images™ 

However, when I tested Easyl™ with the Aegis Images™ 
program, the turnout was quite different. First of all, I loaded it 
using both drives and the process became quick, simple, and 
efficient. Once the program was loaded, Easyl™ look on all of 
the commands of Aegis Images™ (a consideraple improvement 
over Easyl's limited commands). The response from the pad 
was more receptive and faster, and the images were truer to 
what I had drawn. But probably the biggest advantage of using 
Aegis Images™ over Easyl™ was the mouse. 

On the Easyl™ program disk, the mouse does not work on 

anything screen-related, only for edit and color functions, etc. 
But with Aegis™ the mouse can work along with the pad on the 
screen. This saves the user hours of tedious time when 
making straight lines, circles, squares, and many other drafting 
related shapes, and the graphics are much more exact than 
when using a ruler on the pad. I enjoyed using the program 
with Aegis™ more than any of the others because it made the 
work a lot less frustrating and a lot morefun. 



The Verdict 

The final verdict on Easyl™ is a fair one. In itself, the software 
program provided is not that great, you could do just as well 
with any other graphics program and a mouse. However, the 
source code is provided, allowing you the option of creating 
your own software package . 

Using Easyl™ with another program, probably Aegis Images, 
the result is a pleasing combinatbn of your own talent and the 
latest in computer graphics. 

Easyl™ 

by Anakin Research 

$499.00 



•AC' 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 35 




Christmas Fantasia 



-0 



Christmas Fantasia is a very special collection of over 40 popular and traditional Christmas pieces 
that plays continuously while displaying beautiful Christmas scenes. The music has all the features 
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"real" instruments are also in IFF format thereby allowing the user to add to the instruments library using the user's own sampled 
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i** Over 100 songs in each volume. 
i^ Full 4 voice arrangements, 
u^ Over 3 hours of music in eacti volume 
1^ Stereo, Mono, and MIDI output simultaneously. 
i^ User selectable "sampled" IFF instruments. 
t^ Volume control slider, 
(^ Tempo control slider, 
1^ Transpose up or down 24 half steps, 
(2 octaves up and down). 



t^ Select single or multiple MIDI channels. 

w* User friendly mouse driven menu interface. 

1^ A potpourri of music in each volume. 

u^ Compatible with MIDI synthesizers. 

»^ Jukebox feature allows you to define sequence of 

songs. 
(^ 8 Volumes lo choose from. 



SYMPHONY LIBRARY Each volume of 100 songs. (Specify Vol. 1 through Vol. 81 



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MIOI Connection 



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The MIDI CONNECTION is a hardware interlace to allow you to connect the AMIGA to any MIDI synthesizer, drum machine, sampler 

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1^ MIDI IN ■ t^ Connects in seconds, 

V MIDI OUT >^ Complete list of all 800 songs of the SYMPHONY 

!>- MIDI THRU • LIBRARY 

1^ Two 6' MIDI Cables i^ Connects to the AMIGA serial port. 

*^ Music Software Included *^ Guaranteed compatible with all MIDI software (MUSIC 

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MUSIC STUDIO is i IradCTiMrt ol Aclrnsion. 
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By Richard Rae 
Music Editor 

CIS# 721 77,351 6 

Myths and MIDIocrity 

Last month we look a very brief look at MIDI and some of the 
things it can do for you in your electronic music system. Just 
to make sure you understand that MIDI is not all sweetness 
and light, this column presents the opposing viewpoint: 
problems. While we're poking around the back alleys of MID! 
I'll also try to explain away some of (he persistent myths. 

(Before you begin reading this, be advised: these topics are 
controversial and sometimes lead to very heated discussion. 
One of the statements I'll be making, for example, is in direct 
disagreement with a column which recently ran in another 
magazine. These are the facts as I see them; others may or 
may not agree. So if casually mentioning something you read 
here gets you into an argument, don't say you weren't warned, 
<Grin>) 



The Stuck Note Syndrome 

This seems to be the most talked-about problem with MIDI, 
probably because it's the most obnoxious. The Stuck Note 
Syndrome has been described as "When you stop playing but 
the synthesizer doesn't"; a fairly accurate description at that. 

Cast back to last month's column when we discussed Channel 
Messages, and you'll recall there were two messages called 
Note On and Note Off. The first is used to initiate a note on a 
synthesizer, the second to terminate a note. Bet you can 
guess what happens if, for some reason, a synthesizer misses 
a Note Off message! 

There are several ways this can happen. The obvious one is 

for an entire Note Off message to somehow disappear, but 
this is both unlikely and unnecessary. What happens if just 
ONE bit of a Note Off command is changed? 

If the MSB of the status byte is changed, the command 
becomes a byte of data and the entire string will, one would 
hope, be ignored. If one of the three command bits is toggled, 
our Note Off command is no longer a Note Off command and 
will be misinterpreted. If one of the channel bits is altered the 
message will be ignored altogether (unless the synthesizer 
has been programmed to read all channels). Change one of 
the data bits in the note number and the wrong note will turn 
off... no help, or worse. Finally, change the MSB of the data 
byte and it becomes a command. What command? 



Who knows! So, we have at leas! sixteen critical bits in a 
Note Off command, any one of which can totally negate the 
command. 

I can imagine howls of outrage from a few readers. "That's a 
ridiculous system. Haven't these people ever heard of parity? 
They could at least DETECT the error!" 

True, there is no parity bit supported by MIDI. What good 
would it do? Remember that the MIDI cable carries data one 
way only, so a synthesizer couldn't ask the computer to 
retransmit a message if it detected an error; the best it could do 
is ignore it, which is little improvement over what we have now. 
Error correcting codes are a possibility, but they would impose 
a performance penalty on the CPUs in the synthesizers, as well 
as strain the already limited MIDI bandwidth. There is no 
obvious way out with the current MIDI specification. Fortunately, 
Stuck Note Syndrome is acceptably rare in a well planned 
system. 

But what causes dropped bits and stuck notes? There are 
several possibilities including extremely noisy electrical 
conditions, bad cables, instrument buffer overflow, and so on. 
By far the most common cause, however, is MIDI Data 
Distortion. Which segues nicely into topic two: 

MIDI Data Distortion 

To discuss this problem we need to once again examine MIDI 
hardware. 

Many MIDI synthesizers are equipped with three ports: MIDI 
In, Out, and Through. The functions of In and Out are obvious; 
the Through port presents a buffered copy of the data 
entering the In port. This makes daisy-chaining of instruments 
very straightforward. 

Each MIDI In port receive its data via an opto-isolator to provide 
isolation between various pieces of equipment. One of the 
limitations of opto-isolators is that there is a significant time 
delay involved in turning a pholotransistor on. This means that 
a square wave into an opto- isolator will be a poorly formed 
pulse wave coming out. Take this pulse wave through another 
opto-isolator, and the pulses become worse yet. Continue 
this process over and over, and you will eventually reach a point 
where the pulses simply disappear. 



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This is exactly tlie situation we have when we daisy-chain 
synthesizers. Each MIDI In port drives an opto-isolator, resulting 
in a slightly degraded version of the MIDI data being presented 
to the Through port, which feeds the next MIDI In port, which 
drives an oplo-isolator... 

And the data pulses don't have to go away completely; only 
a little distortion is necessary before a UART or ACIA returns 
gibberish. The upshot of which is that if you try to daisy-chain a 
dozen MIDI devices you may be treated to all sorts of un- 
pleasant surprises including, yes, Stuck Note Syndrome. 

The cure for Data Distortion is simple and inexpensive: don't 
daisy-chain beyond a reasonable limit, say, four devices or 
so. If you want more synthesizers on line, you need to invest 
in another piece of equipment: the MIDI Through Box. 

A Through Box is an outboard accessory which, in its basic 
form, has one In port and multiple Through ports. Rather than 
daisy-chaining a series of devices, a Through Box allows you 
to set up a star netw/ork, where the Through Box becomes the 
central distribution point. One cable carrying data from your 
computer or sequencer is buffered and split into multiple 
outputs, which are Through ports in MIDI vernacular. This 
means that the signal at each output has been passed through 
only one opto-isolator. 



Through boxes are fairly inexpensive and eliminate Data 
Distortion even in ver/ large systems. As an example, consider 
a Through Box with four Through ports and three synthesizers 
daisy-chained from each port. With this arrangement you 
could drive TWELVE devices with no more distortion than that 
caused by daisy-chaining four devices directly from the 
computer. 

MIDI Delay 

This problem is one of MIDI data being delayed before it 
reaches some of the instruments, resulting in an audible time 
lag. This can be anything from barely discernible to totally 
debilitating. 

MIDI is a serial system which operates at a rate of 31 ,250 bits 
per second. Each data byte is bracketed by one start bit and 
one stop bit, resulting in an actual data rate of 3,125 bytes per 
second or 320 microseconds per byte. 

Most MIDI messages are two or three bytes long. For example, 
a Note On or Note Off message is comprised of three bytes: 
the status byte indicating the command and two data bytes 

indicating the note number and velocity. 

A good rule of thumb for estimates, then, is that each note 
event requires one millisecond to transmit. (In reality there 
are methods which can shorten this time significantly). 

Thisis the absolute maximum speed at which MIDI data can be 
transmitted. This rate is quite adequate for real-time human 
performance, but what happens if you are multi-tracking with a 
computer and several events should occur simultaneously ? 

Consider a hypothetical case: what if you had a lead line, two 
four note chord strata, a bass part, and a percussion section. 
If we assume that two percussion instruments might be struck 
simultaneously -- high hat and base drum, for example - then 
we could expect up to 12 events simultaneously. Due to 
MIDI bandwidth, this could result in up to 12 milliseconds of 
delay in some voices, which is bordering on perceptible. 

In addition to Note On messages, continuous controls such as 
pitchbend and aftertouch can eat up horrendous chunks of 
time. Still more bandwidth is required for system real-time 
messages (responsible for timing and sync when using a 
sequencer). And we haven't even considered the fact that for 
every Note On we have to find lime to squeeze in a Note Off. 
Add them all together and you could be listening to a serious 
problem. 

There are several ways to eliminate MIDI Delay, including 
filtering and half-speed mastering. The most general and 
useful technique, however, is to use a star network. 

In a true star network, each instrument has its own dedicated 
MIDI cable. Since there is no daisy-chaining involved, each 
cable can carry ONLY the data for the connected instrument. 
Thus the serial data travels in parallel from the computer to the 
synthesizers. 



38 



Volume 1, #8 



Only a few systems are currently capable of supporting a true 
star network. The scheme requires the computer to separate 
the data for each instrument and send it to its individual 
output, plus the hardware to provide those individual outputs. 
As MIDI users become more sophisticated and demanding I 
expect we will see more of these systems appearing. 

Instrument Delay 

The symptoms of Instrument Delay are identical to MIDI Delay... 
an audible time lag between when a note should sound and 
when it actually does. It is caused by time delays within the 
instrument itself. To be honest this is not a MIDI problem, but 
due to the similarity of symptoms Instrument Delay is often 
confused with MIDI Delay. Typically both contribute to any 
system delay problems. 

Today's keyboards are thousands of times more complex than 
the synthesizers of just ten years ago. As computers have 
progressed from the Altair with its binary front panel switches to 
the Amiga, so have synthesizers advanced from hand-patched 
systems like the early Moogs to today's DX7s, Synthesizers in 
fact owe their current sophistication to the microprocessor 
industry, as they have been riding on its coattails for the last 
several years. 

For the most part today's keyboards are made more powerful 
simply by having the onboard processors DO more. But there 
is a price to pay. Between scanning the keyboard and front 
panel, controlling parameters, generating envelopes, and 
perhaps even generating the waveforms themselves, there is 
precious little time left for handling MIDI messages. Some 
instruments tend to get a bit overloaded, and as a result it 
might take a few milliseconds for the CPU to get around to 
processing a MIDI message. 

One possible cure for Instrument delay is the star network, 
tf the instrument can only look at the MIDI data stream every 
so often, it must make best possible use of the available 
time. If data for all the synthesizers in a system are travelling 
down one MIDI cable, then the CPU in each instrument will be 
taking quite a bit of lime just saying "Oh, this message isn't for 
me". By using a star network and sending only the data lor 
that instrument we can eliminate this wasted time. 

Another approach is filtering. With this technique we take the 
data on a single MIDI cable and filter out the nonessential 
information before it reaches the instrument. Some of the 
recently announced Through Boxes include an onboard CPU 
and support this sort of function. 

MIDI Choke 

This is a problem which was once labeled as "The Dreaded 
MIDI Choke"; i iiked the phrase so much I've used it ever since. 
It is an extreme case of bandwidth limitation either in the MIDI 
data stream, the computer, or the instruments themselves. It is 
characterized by stuttering, very long delays, strange 
instrument reactions, and even lockup of the instruments or 
the computer itself. 

Since the CPU in an instrument cannot react instantly to MIDI 
data, it is usually stored in a buffer until it can be handled; the 



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same is true on the computer's end. What happens if data 
comes in so quickly that the buffer overflows? At the very least 
data will be lost. This is, in fact, another possible cause of Stuck 
Note Syndrome. In less robust systems the CPU could get 
confused trying to interpret the data, resulting in who knows 
what result. 

On the computer's end, what if data is being sent faster than 
the MIDI bandwidth allows? Once the transmit buffer fills, 
where does the extra data go? Should the computer just throw 
it away and keep going, or wait for the buffer to empty? Tough 
decisionsfortheauthorof thesequencerprogram. 

MIDI Choke is an extreme and unique condition; the only 
sure cure is patience and experimentation. You may be able to 
solve the problem with a star network, since this allows data to 
exit the computer more quickly than does a single MIDI cable. 
Filtering out unwanted data when recording or playing back 
could help if you can afford to lose some data. Other more 
drastic methods are available as needed. 

What, Me Worry? 

So there you have some of the most obnoxious MIDI problems. 
Should you, wide-eyed with fear and loathing, take your newly 
acquired MIDI interface at arm's length and flush it down the 
toilet? No. With a small system you may NEVER experience 
any of these problems. Larger systems simply require careful 
planning to avoid pitfalls. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 39 



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Realize, too, that few people have enough money to go out 
and buy a dozen synthesizers and drum machines and hook 
them all up at once. If you are like most hobbyist musicians 
(myself included), you will be adding new equipment slowly, 
one piece at a time. Problems will tend to crop up slowly and 
gently after a new acquisition; this gives you the opportunity to 
puzzle out exactly what hapfjened and how to fix the problem. 

The information in this article is presented as a hedge, pre- 
ventative maintenance if you will. If a problem strikes and 
something presented here hints at the proper solution, then it 
has served its purpose. 

So much for enumerating problems. Now let's take a quick 
look at a couple of MIDI myths. 

MIDI MYTH #1 : "MIDI Delay is caused by the time lag between In 

and Through ports in each device." 

Many people believe that the MIDI data at the In port is 
processed by the instrument's CPU before being passed to 
the Through port, resulting in a delay of several milliseconds. 
Cascade several synthesizers using Through ports, and 
presto: instant MIDI Delay. 

In reality the CPU has nothing to do with the MIDI Through port. 
The data at the In port is buffered by hardware, typically one 
or two TTL gates, before being presented to the Through port. 
At worst, this results in a delay of a few nanoseconds and does 
not contribute 1o the problem. 



MIDI MYTH #2: "A Through Box will cure MIDI Delay problems." 

The belief that a Through Box eliminates MIDI Delay has two 
sources. The first is based on MIDI Myth #1 : If the problem is 
caused by cumulative port delays, then eliminating the daisy- 
chain will cure the problem. The second reason lor the 
Through Box myth is based on a misunderstanding of star 
networks. Understand this well: A Through Box Doth Not A 
True Star Network Make. Remember that the idea behind 
the star network was to increase the rate at which data could 
get to the synthesizers. With a Through Box all the data still 
has to go down one MIDI cable to get TO the distribution point; 
the bottleneck remains. 

A true star network has to be driven by a high speed input. This 
generally means the computer itself. Put a bunch of UARTS 
on the buss and drive them independently from the sequencer 
program and you have a TRUE star network. Plug a MIDI 
interface with two MIDI Out ports into your Amiga's serial port 
and you do NOT, since the data still has to get to the interlace 
via the 31 .25 Kbaud serial port. 

And that, my friends, concludes this summary of the negative 
aspects of MIDI. All in all MIDI fares pretty well: the capabilities 
and flexibility make the occasional headaches well worthwhile, 
especially considering how the same jobs were done just a few 
scant years ago. I hope you'll have an opportunity to work with 
MIDI and the Amiga; I expect it will be an excellent 
combination. 

A closing comment... 

Several people have mentioned that they are desperate for 
music hardware and software, and have asked me to include 
projected release dates and announcements of availability 
each month. 1 think it is safer to decline this request, for a 
couple of reasons. 

First, we all know how tenuous and unreliable estimated 
shipping dates are. I'd almost consider it a dissen/ice to give 
you shipping dates which are later pushed back. 

Second, even though Don Hicks and his staff are doing an 
incredible job of getting Amazing out the door, the fact is that I 
have to get my articles in one month before the cover date. 
Add to this the composition time at the publisher's offices, the 
printing delay, and distribution. Many projected release dates 
will have passed by the time the magazine is in your hands. 
You'll already KNOW before I can TELL you! 

I think this is one of the areas where the networks fit in. For 
something as volatile as this subject, sen/ices like CompuServe 
(which I strongly recommend) and Plink (which is John Foust's 
favorite) are the answer. Come join us online for the latest 
information! 

This refusal notwithstanding, I really do want to know what you 
would like to see here. Remember, this is your column, your 
magazine. If you doni tell me what you want, the best I can do 
is shoot in the dark. 

Nybbles, 
Rick 



40 



Volume 1, #8 



The Amazing 
AmigaBASIC Tutorial 

Part Six ... Screens and Windows 



By Kelly Kauffman 

For your Amiga to put anything on your monitor in MBasic, 
tiiere must be a screen with a window open on it to put it in. 
You may or may not be familiar with screens and/or windows, 
but this tutorial will devote itself to explaining them to you as 
they pertain to MBasic. 

SCREENS 

The screen command will create a new screen in which future 
windows may exist. A screen defines how many colors, and 
what resolution a window will have. 

The syntax of the command is: 

SCREEN [screen #],[w]dth],[helght],[depth],[mode] 

Screen # is a number from 1 to 4 which, when windows are later 
opened, will tell the Amiga which screen to put the window on. 

Width will be a number between 1 and 620. This will specify, in 
pixels, how wide your screen will be. The two "normal" widths 
are 320 for low-resolution (maximum 32 colors) and 640 for 
high-resolution (maximum 16 colors). The Workbench is an 
example of maximum screen width. If you specify a number 
other than 320 or 640, your screen will not fill the monitor 
horizontally. If, for instance, you specify a width of 300 in low- 
res, you will have an inch or so on the right hand side of your 
monitor that will be a "void." You will not be able to drag 
windows into the unused 20 pixels, nor will you be able to put 
anything in there. One interesting thing is that when you move 
the mouse into that area, it disappears! 

Height is a number between 1 and 400. If the number is above 
200, then you must later specify an interlaced window (more on 
this later.) The normal screen height for a non-interlaced 
window is 200. Again, the Workbench is a good example of 
this, it is a 640 X 200 window. If you specify a height that is not 
200 or 400, you can get some strange results. First off, when 
the screen is opened up with a height of, say 100, the bottom 
half of the screen is garbled garbage. There's jumbled graphics 
on the lower half which will disappear as soon as you click on 
the screen's title bar. When you do click on the title bar, the 
screen JUMPS to the lower half of the screen, thus fixing the 
display. Screens of non-normal heights (normal=200 and 400), 
will always appear from the bottom up. In other words, you can 
slide the screen down off the bottom, but you can't slide it off 
the top. 

Depth is a number which specifies the number of "bit-planes" 
the screen will have. This is a fancy term which basically 



determines the maximum number of colors that a screen will be 
able to display as shown in the following chart: 

Depth Max. # of Colors 



2 
4 

8 

16 
32 



In high-resolution, the maximum depth number you can use is 
4, since the systems hardware is limited to 1 6 colors In hi-res. In 
lo-res, you can specify a depth of 5, allowing you to display 32 
colors. 

You may be wondering why the other depths are provided. 
Well, the "deeper" the screen, the more the Amiga has to work 
on the screen to keep it drawn on your monitor. Thus, it slows 
the machine down. ..which is very noticeable in MBasic. For 
example, a math intensive program will run fastest on a 320 x 
200 screen with a screen depth of 1 . Not as glossy, but faster. 
The same program on a 640 x 400 screen with a depth of 4 will 
be NOTICEABLY slower. The Workbench has a screen depth 
of 2. 

Mode is a code for MBasic that tells it exactly what kind of 
resolution you want. For example, you may have a 320 x 200 lo- 
res screen which fills the monitor, or you can have a 320 x 200 
hi-res screen which will only take half the width of your monitor. 
This lets you tell the Amiga what resolution you want according 
lo the chart below. 



Mode 



Resvilt 



1 


Low Resolution, 


NOT interlaced 


2 


High Resolution, 


NOT interlaced 


3 


Low Resolution, 


interlaced 


4 


High Resolution, 


interlaced 



Interlace is that funny mode that makes your display "flicker" a 
bit. But in a sense, you gain virtually another screen since it is 
like having the area of two screens in one. You MUST specify 
interlace if you have a number larger than 200 for your height. 
There are some tricks you can use to minimize the side-effects 
of the interlace mode. Careful color planning will virtually 
eliminate the flickering effect. (Use the PALETTE command to 
change the colors. For best results, use darker colors with 
nearly the same brightness. The Palette command will be 
covered in depth in a later issue.) 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 41 



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You also MUST specify a mode of eittier a 2 or a 4, for hi-res, if 
yourscreen width isgreaterthan 320. 

Some sample SCREEN commands: 

SCREEN 1,320,200,5,1 

A lo-res 320 x 200 screen with 32 colors 

SCREEN 1,640,200, 4, 2A 
hi-res 320 x 200 screen with 1 6 colors 

SCREEN 1,320,400,3,3 

A io-res 320 x 400 screen with 8 colors interlaced 

SCREEN 2,640,400,1,4 

A hi-res 640 x 400 screen with 2 colors interlaced 

SCREEN 3,280,325,3,4 

A hi-fes 280 x 325 screen with 8 colors interlaced 

To close a screen and free up the memory that it takes, then 
use the command: 

SCREEN CLOSE [#] 

The # is the screen id# that you want closed. (Note: Do not 
type the bracl<ets around the number.) Any windows that were 
open on the screen you closed will automatically be closed. 

WINDOWS 

Windows allow you to print or draw things on your SCREEN. 
You cannot draw things on a screen directly from tvl Basic. .they 
MUST be in a window. This is the syntax for the window 
command: 

WINDOW [window id],["title"],[size],ttype],[screen-ld] 

Window id is just a number to keep the windows separate in 
case you have more than 1 window and want different 
Information in each window. You will then be able to specify 
which window you want to modify by specifying it's window id #. 
Window #1 is the Output window which appears when you first 
enter MBasic. Any number above 1 is a window that you have 
created (or will create). 

The title must be contained in quotes ("") but is optional. If you 
do not specify a name, the title bar of the window will be blank. 

The size of the window is the coordinates of the upper-left 
hand corner and the lower-right hand corner of the window. 
For example, if you wanted a window that appeared 10 pixels 
over and 15 pixels down and went over to 290 and down to 
185 then the syntax for the size argument would be: (10,15)- 
(290,185) 

If you don't specify the size of the screen, then it defaults to the 
maximum size that the SCREEN can handle. 

The Type determines what "options" you want for your window. 
This is the chart of options for windows: 



42 



Volume 1, #8 



ValueOption 

1 A sizing gadget will be in the window so that the size of 
the window can be changed by the user. 

2 The window can be moved by clicking and dragging on 
the title bar. 

4A Front/Back and Back/Front gadget will appear in the 
window so it can be moved in front of or behind other 
windows. 

8A Close gadget will appear in the upper-left corner of the 
window so the user can closethe window. 

16 If another window is moved on top of this one, and then 
moved off of the window, it's contents will re-appear. This 
option eats up memory, because it sets aside enough memory 
for the window twice. One visible, the other, somewhere in 
memory. This slows down the windows since when writing or 
drawing into the window, it has to be drawn on actually two 
windows to have a reference as to what to put back into the 
visible window aftera window has been moved off of It. 

In order to have more than 1 option per window, you simply 
select which options you want in a window, add their "Values" 
up, and plug it into (he "TYPE" argument of the window 
cxjmmand. 

Screen id tells the Amiga which screen to open this window 
on. This is the same number that you specified in the Screen 
command as the Screen #. If you specify a screen id of -1, the 
window will be opened on the Workbench screen. 

Some sample Window opening commands: 

WINDOW 1, "System Data", (10, 10) - (270, 180) , IS, 2 

- This opens a window called 'System Data" that can be sized, 
closed, dragged and move foreground/background on screen 
#2. 

WINDOW 3, , , , 

-This opens a full window with no title, with no options on the 
workbench screen. 

To close a window, use the command: 

WINDOW CLOSE [#] 

The # is the window id # to close. {Note: Do not type the 
brackets.) Tliis will free up any memory used by the window. 

The WINDOW OUTPUT [#] command will force a window to the 
foreground and make it the current output window. (Note: Do 
not type the brackets.) This means that any PRINT, CIRCLE, 
etc. commands will be done in this window. 



Note that with both the Screen and Window commands, 
each argument MUSTbeseparated with a comma. 



that 



That'll do it for Screens and Windows, I hope this helped you 
understand them better. Good luck! 

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Amazing Computing™ ©1986 43 



Amazing Reviews... 

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Reviewed By 
Stephen R. Pietrowicz 

The program that many Amiga owners have been waiting for 
finally here: Marble Madness. 



IS 



Marble Madness was released by Atari as a coin-op game 
several years ago. The object of the game is to manuever your 
marble through a series of 3-0 raceways to the goal line. The 
mazes you have to guide your marble through have ramps, 
funnels to send your marble from one part of the maze to 
another, and a large variety of hazards that you'll have to get 
your marble past. There are six levels to navigate, and the 
quicker you make it through one level the better. The time left 
from the previous level is added to the time on your next level. 

Hazards include "Steelies", black marbles that try and knock 
your marble off the edge of the maze, tf you're able to knock off 
a "Steelie" instead, you'll be awarded bonus points. Another 
type of opponent are little worms called "Marble Munchers" that 
stun your marble, try and eal it, and lick their "lips" if they 
succeed. Moving pools of acid, vacuums, and other obstacles 
are scattered throughout each level. 

Marble Madness can be played as either a one or two player 
game. You control the marble by using a joystick, mouse, or a 
trackball. (Both types of trackball are supported). You can mix 
and match the types of controls that you use in the two player 
version of the game. If both players use a mouse, make sure 
that there is lots of room! By pressing on the left mouse button, 
(or the button on a joystick or trackball), it gives the ball an extra 
burst of speed. I've found that doing this while using a mouse 
really helps 1o control the marble. 

Moving the marble can be frustrating at times, depending on 
which type of control device you use. The joystick is great for 
moving along a straight path, but it's a bit difficult to use around 
sharp corners. (I think it is a matter of getting used to it more 
than anything else). When using the mouse, keep it near the 
center of the table. Otherwise, you lose control as soon as the 
mouse goes off the edge of the table. 

Unfortunately, there are some things I dont really like about the 
game. The mouse MUST be attached to the front port in order 
to select different controls, and to start the game. If two players 
both use joysticks, they have to reattach the mouse to the front 
port, click on the "GO!" to start the game, and then quickly 
switch back to using the joystick before the game starts. It 




would have been easier to just be able to hit the space bar to 
start the game, and not have to worry about switching back and 
forth. 

Once one level of the maze has been completed, the next level 
has to be loaded from disk. Depending on the level, this can 
lake up to 20 seconds to do. It would have been nice to at least 
keep the music running while waiting for the new level to load. 

I've even had the game "guru" on me once. In a particularly 
ungraceful move, my marble was hit by a "Steelie" and it 
bounced trom one section down to another section, and then 
to another. Up came the guru message. I've tried to recreate 
the problem, but had no success. 

Despite these things, I've enjoying playing Marble Madness. It 
was certainly aptly named. I've gone crazy trying to get past 
obstacles on the way to the end of the race! 



•AC- 



Electronic Arts 
1820 Gateway Drive 
San Mateo, CA 94404 

Copy protected disk $49.95 

51 2K; Joystick, trackball, or mouse required 

One or two players 



44 



Volume 1. m 



Using Fonts from 
AmigaBASIC 



..fonts & libraries and how to use 
them from AmigaBASIC 



By Tim Jones 

People Link AMS0FT1 

SYSOP The Window BBS. (61 7)-868-1 430 



Doing things the hard way has always appealed to me. I was 
perusing my ROM Kernal manuals and saw that Ihe font calls 
should be a challenging way to spend a couple of days working 
in AmigaBASIC. After reading the sections in the RKf\A and in 
the Sybex 'Amiga Programmer's Handbook' concerning fonts, I 
started to work. 



As usual, the folks at Commodore had already thought about 
this and included a simple example on the Extras disk called 
'Library'. I took a look at what they offered and thought 'That 
shows me the system fonts, now what about the fonts that are 
included on thedisk?' 

I got to poking around in the text functions section of the Amiga 
Programmer's Handbook and found the call to OpenDiskFont(). 
My next move was to scan the entries in the diskfont.bmap file 
[see Amicus disk #8 in the .BMAP Files section or on Fish Disk 
#27 in the ABDemos directory] using my BmapReader program 
to see if the function was included. 

It was there that I also found the function AvailFontsQ, which 
had been referred lo in the OpenDiskFont() function 
description. AvailFonts() then led me to AllocMem() and 
FreeMem(). 

For library work, BmapReader is probably the most useful thing 
that I have ever done. Turning to it and the .bmap files, I 
located the functions that I was looking for and then turned 
back to the Amiga Programmer's Handbook for full 
descriptbns. 

After collecting all of the information concerning fonts. I then 
looked at the C programming example WhichFont.c in the ROM 
Kernal manual and decided that, if they could do it in C, t could 
do it in BASIC. WhichFont.Bas isthe resulting program. 

Program Description: 

The library functions called by WhichFont.BAS are as follows: 



AllocMemO 


-> 


fjTom 


the 


FreeMem ( ) 


-> 


from 


the 


pp«nDiskFont () 


-> 


from 


the 


AvailFontsO 


-> 


from 


the 


OpenFont () 


-> 


from 


the 


CloeeFont () 


-> 


from 


the 


AskSoftStylaO 


-> 


from 


the 


SetSoftStyleO 


-> 


from 


the 



exec library 
exec library 
diskfont library 
diskfont library 
graphics library 
graphics library 
graphics library 
graphics library 



Therefore, we must open the exec, diskfont and graphics 
libraries. You must have the exec.bmap, diskfont.bmap and 
graphics. bmap files in your current directory or in the SYS:Libs 
directory for this program to work. 

Variables used by the program, along with short descriptions 
are: 



BufPtrt 

BufSizaK 

MEMTPDBLICt 

MEMFCLEAKf 

FontLiat£ 

iWFDISKS 

WFMEHORYt 

NuatFont»% 

N«wPtrS 

StrAddS 

Hum% 

FointSii*% 

?ointftr£ 

AvailKam*$ () 

FtS 

ft% 

Typ.% 

Rp£ 

snabl>% 

pFonfc£ 
£ontNua*$ 

£ontHun*0$ 

height* 

ityl*% 

pr«f«% 

taxtAttrt (0) 
taztAttrt (1) 



-> Str to tb» sllocatad n«o for th« font li»t 

-> slza (in bytai) of th« •lloc«t«d buffer 

-> « fl«g indicating that the nainory allocated 

■hall be fully public and relocatable 
-> flag the alloc mem ahould be clear to zeros. 
-> record call to AvailFonta. Zero if all Mall. 
-> Tell AvailFonta to look at the disk fonta 
-> Telling AvailFonta to look at reaidont fonts 
-> # fonts located by the Availronta call 
-> ptr to baae the font name starting location 
-> ptr to address that the font name is held at 
-> counter for the FOR-NEXT loops 
-> array holding the size of the matching font 
-> ptr to the size info in taxtattr structure 
~> string array holding the actual font names 
'> string for user entry of font for viewing 
-> the point size of the font to be viavad 
-> the af_Type (memory (1) or disk (2) ) 
-> pointer to my raatPort for WINDC3W 2 
-> tells SatSoftstyla vhich styles are available 

for the font called. Acta as a bit-mask. 
-> pointer to tha currently active font 
-> string in tha Font Sub-Program for passing 

the name of the font to be opened. 
-> fontHame$ with a CHR$ (0) termination 
-> the point size of the font being called 
-> the style of the font. I use xaro hare and 

call to Satstyle to change the style. 
-> this tells the OpenFont () call the preferred 

style (a) for the font you are calling. 
-> ptr to the adrs of the fontNameO? variable 
-> the height^ style £ preferences for the font 
-> passes the style to the SetStyle Sub-Program 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 45 



AllocateMem 

The first step in setting up our fonts list structure is to allocate 
some memory for storage of the structures as they are returned 
from Ihe AvailFonts() call. We do this by calling AllocMem() and 
passing the values for the amount of memory we require 
(bytesize) and the type of memory (requirements). These can 
be described as follows: 

(Please note that BASIC ignores the underline character, so i 

leave it out,) 

bytesize 

Number of bytes required. Rounded up to the next 
multiple of eight bytes if not on an even eight byte block 
boundary. 



requirements 

MEMF_PUBLIC, MEMF_CH1P, MEMF_FAST 
MENflFCLEAR (These are ORed together and passed) 



or 



MEMF_PUBLIC 

value = (no bits set) This indicates that the memory 
allocated must not be mapped, swapped or othenwise 
unaddressable. Since we would eventually want our 
structure list to be used by other tasks, we must use 
PUBLIC memory. 



GetAvailFonls 

The next step in the process is to find out what fonts are 
available on the disk and in memory. We do this with the 
AvailFonts{) call. The syntax of the call is: 

error = AvailFonts(bufptr, numbytes, where) 

Bufptr The address of the memory the list structures should 
be created in. 



numbytes 



The number of bytes available 



where Where the call should look (memory or disk or both) 
where can be either AFF_MEMORY (1 ) or 
AFF_DISK(2). 

hAv call to AvailFontsO looks like this: 

FontErrort = AvailFontsS {BufPtrt.Buf Sizes, AFFDISKt 
OR AFFhEMORYS) 
IF FontErrort <> THEN 

PRINT "Couldn t find Fonts. Cleaning up..." 

FreeMemExit 
END IF 

If the call to AvailFonts() doesn't work, FontError& will contain 
an error number otherthan zero. 



MEMF_CHIP 

value = 1 (bit set) This Indicates that the memory must 
be in the first 51 2K bytes of system memory (chip 
memory). Allows access of the memory by the custom 
chips, DIVIA, etc. 

MEMF_FAST 

value = 2 (bit 1 set) This indicates that the memory should 
be in the memory located above the first 512K bytes of 
system memory. This memory may only be accessed by 
the 680XX MPU and not the custom chips. 

MEMF_CLEAR 

value = 65536 (bit 16 set) This indicates that the memory 
should be cleared, set to all zeros, upon allocation. 



My AllocMemO call looks like this: 

BufPtrC - AllocK*m£(BafSil*«, (lOSIFPimUCE OK MEMFCLEAAS ) ] 
IF BufPtrS « THEN 

PRINT "Couldn t find" ; BufSlxaG; 'Byt«« of coatlgnoua fx«* 

RAM." 

FrvaMamZxlt 

END ir 



If the call could not locate 512 bytes of contiguous RAfvl, then a 
zero would have been returned and we would have exited the 
program. Otherwise, BufPtr& will contain the address of the 
memory that was allocated lor our use. 



Notice that the variables are passed as LONG (&). 
required by the system to keep things agreeable. 



This is 



GetFontNameAddresses, 

GetTheType, GetThePointSizes and BuildNames 

We will assume that the AvailFonts() call worked and we now 
have our fonts list structures in the memory that we allocated. 
The first structure, AvailFontsHeader, starts at location BufPtr& 
and contains two bytes listing the number of fonts located 
according to our call to AvailFonts(). 

The rest of the entries are the AvailFonts structures. Each entry 
in Ihe list is ten bytes long. The byte definitions are listed 
below. If we are running on a standard WorkBench disk, there 
should have been 16 fonts returned (14 on disk and 2 in 
memory). 

The next three routines in the program, GetFontName- 
Addresses, GetThePointSizes and BuildNames, get their 
information from these structures. Before looking at them, 1 set 
the variable NumFonts% equal to the two byte value returned 
in (he AvailFontsHeader structure. 

We now look forward at the structures that contain the actual 
font information. The data is held inthefolbwing format; 

bytes 1-2 

The type of font (disk (2) or memory (1)). 
This value is assigned to the variable Type%. 

bytes3-6 

The address of the font name in memory. We look there to 
get the namefor use in our DisplayNames routine, 
bytes 7-8 

The Ysize of the font (Point size). This tells us how many 
pixels high the font is. 



46 



Volume 1, it& 



byte 9 

The style bits for the font (describes which styles are 
applicable to this font). 

byte 10 

The preferences (the way the font SHOULD be displayed). 



DispIayNames, GetDecision and DisplayFont 

Once all of this data has been sorted and placed into arrays, we 
will display it in a human readable form. This is performed by the 
DispIayNames routine. The information displayed lists the 
name of the font, the point size and the type (memory (1) or 
disk (2)). 

After the names, point sizes and types are displayed , the user 
is asked to enter the name, point size and Type of the font that 
he/she wishes to see. The name can be just the name (i.e. 
topaz, sapphire, etc.) or the name with the .font extension, the 
format of the entry would be: 

Enter the name of the font, its point size & Type from the chart 
above: 

Font Name, Point size and Type (separated by 
commas) : topaz, 11,2 

Type END, 0,0 to exit 



This would then open a new window and display the selected 
font in all fifteen possible style combinations. Once the font 
has been displayed, the user is prompted to click the MOUSE 
button to continue. He/she is then returned to the list of fonts 
and prompted for the next font. To exit the program, the user 
enters 'END, 0,0' as the font name and size. 

SUB- Prog rams 

If the user exits, we call the sub-program FreeMemExit. This 
frees up the memory that we allocated in the beginning, closes 
any open ionts using a call to CloseFonts() and closes the 
libraries. The main call in this sub-routine is the call to 
FreeMem(). Since FreeMem() doesn't return a value, we didn't 
declare it in the DECLARE FUNCTION section. The items 
passed to the FreeMem() call are MemPtr and MemSize. 
MemPtr is our variable BuiPtrS and MemSize is our variable 
BufSize&. 

My call to FreeMem() looks like this: 

SUB FreeMemExit STATIC 

SEIARED BufPtrfi,BufSliefi,pFont4 
IF BufPtrS <> THEN 

CALL FreeMemS {BufPtrS,BufSize4) 
END IF 

Also in this sub-routine is a call to CloseFont, which is needed 
to insure that all system resources (memory) are returned 
before we exit. We base our call to CloseFont on the value 
held by the variable pFont&. If we find that pFont& isn't zero, 
then a font must still be open. The call to CloseFont() looks like 
this: 

IF pFontS <> THEN CALL CloseFont (pFonti) 



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For my Font sub-program, t am using a slightly doctored version 
of the sub-program Font that is found in the Library program on 
your Extras disk. We send the same information as in the 
Library demo, but we make our open call based on the type of 
font (memory or disk). If the type (our variable Type%) is equal 
to two, then we call OpenDiskFon1(), If Type% is equal to one, 
then we use OpenFont{) and only look at the System resident 
fonts. We call Font as follows: 

Font"fontname.font",height,styIe,preferences 

Example: Font "topaz. font", 8,0,0 

To call Font from your program, you must initialize the following: 

Any string or string variable containing the font name 
TTie point size (as an integer) 

The style and preferences (usually zeros on opening the font) 
The type {memory(1)ordisk(2)) 

The pointer to the rastPort (Rp& in this example or WIND0W(8)) 
The font pointer returned by OpenFont()/OpenDiskFont() 
(pFont&). 

Once these variables are accessable by the sub-program, you 
may import it directly as presented into your program. 

First, we check to see if a font is already open. If so, we close it 
before continuing to the OpenDiskFont call. The multiplication 
in the routine is simply to make the total value of texlAttr&(1) 
equal to the total value of the last four bytes of the AvailFonts 
structure as discussed above. 



Once we have the font open, we will display it using all fifteen 
style combinations. Please note that not all fonts were 
designed to operate in all styles, fvlost fonts were designed to 
be NORMAL, BOLD or UNDERLINED and therefore, they may 
not look right in the italicized or extended modes. To change 
the style of the font for display, we use a call to the SelFont sub- 
program. This sub-program requires that the variable enable% 
be set according to the return from thecall to AskSoftStyle(). 

Programming Comments 

To recap, opening fonts in your program requires routines that 
allocate memory (AlfocMemO), check for available fonts 
(AvailFontsO), open and close the fonts (OpenDiskFont(), 
OpenFontO and CloseFont()), check and change the style of 
the font (AskSoftStyleO and SetSoftStyle()) and then return 
memory upon exiting. These are the AllocateMem: and 
GetAvailFonts: routines and the Font, SetStyle and 
FreeMemExit sub-programs in this example. 

There is a set of new fonts in the public domain; I suggest to 
leave them alone. I have tried with all 28 fonts and the result 
has always been a visit from the GURU. Apparently, there is 
something unusual in the TextFont structures that define 
these new fonts. 

I hope that I have shed some light on fonts and libraries and 
how to use them from BASIC. 



•AC- 




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50 



Volume 1, #8 



Roomers 



John Foust guest hosts for the Amigo 
who is somewhere underground 



By John Foust 

Surprise! 1 am NOT the Amigo. I am substituting for the Amigo 
this month. I am not afraid to put my name above these words. 

Commodore 64 emulator 

I heard a rumor that someone had made a Commodore 64 
emulalor for the Amiga, t heard il from a former Commodore 
employee, who confidently whispered in my ear at spring 
COMDEX, and said I could call later, at the hotel, and hear the 
rest of the story. They also claimed an Apple][ and Mac 
emulator were in the works, too. 

Many weeks later, I heard this rumor again, on a computer 
network. Someone had talked to their dealer who had talked to 
a good friend of a person who was actually developing the C-64 
emulator. 

I smugly suggested that this person call their dealer, and have 
them call their friend of a friend, and have him call me, just to 
confirm this rumor. I thought this would stop the rumor in its 
tracks. I supplied my phone number in the message. The next 
morning, the developer of the C-64 emulatorcalled me. 

It is being made by a company called Software Kingdom, at 
122 Prospect Hill Road, East Windsor, Connecticut, zip 06088, 
phone (203) 627-8180. It is not multitasking. It takes over the 
machine. At last rumor-posting, it was to ship the second 
week of September, at $149.95, and later rise to $199, after an 
introductory period. 

The software emulates the 6510 in the 0-64, and it includes a 
modified copy of the C-64 ROM, licensed from Commodore. It 
has a hardware pass-through add-on for the parallel port, like 
so many other Amiga peripherals. It gives a connection to the 
C-64 serial bus, so you can use your 1 541 or 1 571 disk drive or 
1526 printer to your Amiga. It also provides some form of 
'dongle' hardware copy protection. 

Amiga Developer Conference 

In the last few days, the Amiga Developer Conference was 
cancelled. Somewhere between 200 and 300 developers sent 
$300 registration fees to Commodore- Amiga, and a week 
before the conference, they cancelled it. The rumors of the 
cancellation started on Friday, September 5, and continued 
overthe weekend. The rumors came with reasons. 



Publisher's note: "Roomers" is an attempt to ferret out truths 
from half truths. We hope to make these remarks as accurate 
Impassible . If some item is either missing or incorrect, please 
contact us with the corrected inform atbn. 

The remari<s in this column are those of Mr. Foust and not 
neccesarily those ofPiM Publications, Inc. 



One. A Macintosh developer conference was scheduled for 
the same week, and many developers prepare products for 
both machines. As one person said, "Let them move their 
conference!" 

Two. Commodore management disapproved of the agenda for 
the conference, which included advance information on 
upcoming Commodore-Amiga products. They didn't want any 
leaks, so they asked Commodore-Amiga to cancel the 
conference. Many sources indicated a lot of internal political 
pressure. 

This stands to reason. Even if every developer had signed a 
slack of non-disclosure agreements, word would hit the 
networks during the conference itself, and detailed information 
would soon follow in the press. After all, developers can use 
the phone, and many cariy a portable computer. 

The reasoning behind this reasoning is less clear. Somewhere 
in the Rulebook of Corporate Thinking, less information is 
better than more information - even if you are talking about the 
people who have invested their time and fortunes on your 
products, those people betting on the success of the Amiga, 
the developers. 

Perhaps they imagined competitors would get a six-week jump 
on comparable products, or thai the press would once again 
trample Commodore for announcing products before they are 
ready. I am sure Atari has better spies than this, and that the 
press will always enjoy trampling Commodore, the same way 
they like to trample Atari. 

The developers were asked to stay at the Double Tree Inn in 
Monterey, California, the planned site of the conference. To 
confirm or disprove the rumor, i called the Double Tree on 
Monday night, a week before the conference. The night clerk 
had not heard about the cancellation. 

COMDEX conflicts 

On Tuesday, I talked to Caryn Havis-Mical, the conference 
organizer at Commodore-Amiga in Los Gatos. She confirmed 
that the conference is re-scheduled for November 5 through 7, 
the week before winter COMDEX in Las Vegas. 

It will be held in Monterey, and everyone's registration fees 
and hotel reservations will transfer to the new date, and 
refunds' are available. She was upbeat. She said they'd be 
able to produce a much better conference, if they only had 
more time to prepare. 



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They felt the extra six weeks would give them more Jime to 
prepare presentations for the conference. They could give a 
better conference in November than September. 

However, the new date poses some conflicts. Many 
developers use the last week before a show to polish their 
product. COMDEX is the week after the newly scheduled 
conference, in Las Vegas. This could cramp the style of many 
developers, who need time to prepare for the show. 

At that time, her office was addressing Mailgrams, and trying 
to call every registered developer, to alert them of the 
rescheduling. A cynical registrant said, "The letters should 
reach them about the time they get of! the plane in Monterey." 
Another had heard of the conference cancellation, but had 
never received a phone call, or even an acknowledgement that 
his $300 arrived safely. 

I suspect a few registrants will arrive in Monterey on the 
planned date. When the hotel tells them of the cancellation, 
they will rent a car, drive to Los Gatos, pound on the door at 
Commodore-Amiga, and ask for a special, private conference, 
in a strong tone of voice. They will get a visitor badge, and 
spend most of Wednesday morning in the lobby... 

Commodore profits 

Many newspaper readers were surprised when !hey opened 
their papers. 'Commodore' and "profit" used in the same 
sentence? Commodore reported a profit of $1.2 million this 
quarter, which amounts to a few cents a share. With this 



announcement, the CBM stock price soon increased by more 
than a dollar. 

New Amiga products 

What was to be shown at the developer conference? I spoke 
with an anonymous Commodore-Amiga employee. Their words 
seemed to say that one-third of the planned presentation 
wouldn't be running in time for the conference, and they didnt 
want to make a bad impression. 

They were worried about making a bad impression, and then 
they cancelled the conference? Developers would certainly 
understand if the hardware or software was buggy. I am sure 
many would be satisfied with cardboard mock-ups, and simple 
but accurate descriptions of the future product. 

Several close sources confirmed that both the low-end and 
high-end Amiga products would not be functioning in time for 
the conference. What were these products? 

Baby Amiga 

By best accounts, a 'baby Amiga' was to be shown. This 
Amiga is dubbed the Amiga 500, or the 'P-52', according to one 
source. It is a consumer version of the Amiga. 'Consumer' 
means 'cheaper', I think, since this unit has an expected price 
of about $500. Some software developers have played with 
prototypes. 

Rumors are it is an integral unit. The keyboard is part of the 
system unit. It has a disk drive on the side edge, like the Atari 
ST. It has the Kickstart version 1.2 in ROM, and is otherwise 
1 00% percent software compatible. 

It might not have provisions for an external monitor, only TV- 
set-quality video output. It has 256 or 512 K of RAM, with 
some provisions forinternal RAM expansion. It does not have 
a bus interface connector, so other kinds of expansion aren't 
possible. It doesn't have an internal fan, and it uses an 
external power supply, which prevents many FCC clearance 
problems. Unless Commodore has a large inventory of the 
present Amiga chip set, I'd guess it will have the new graphics 
chips. 

These reductions should be able to bring the price into the 
$500 range. I wouldn't expect to see this machine until well 
into next year. 

The 'P-52' name sounds like a ringer code-name, to me. In the 
past. Commodore has given employees false code-names for 
new products, to point out information leaks. Sometimes, the 
information spreads so fast, they cant pin down the leaks... 

The Amiga 2500 

Others claim the Amiga 2500 would be shown. Rumors give 
this machine various configurations, such as a built-in Sidecar 
daughter board, both 3 1/2 and 5 1/4 inch disk drives, and a 
68010 processor. The rumors converge on a similar machine 
shown to select distributors at the spring COMDEX. 

Ranger-class machines 

'Ranger' was the code-name for future Amiga products. These 
upgraded Amigas have 68010 or 68020 processors, and the 



52 



Volume 1, #8 



previously announced graphics cliips, witli iiigher resolution, 
and greater bit-shuffling capabilities, along with the ability to 
address 2 megabytes of CHIP memory, as compared to the 
512KCHIP memory limit inthe present Amiga. 

Some sources give the Ranger-class machines an internal 
hard disk. Developers would undoubtably applaud a hard disk, 
since so many are working from floppy disks, I suspect 
November conference attendees wiil see something with a 
DMA hard disk. 

Sidecar rumors 

By best accounts, the Sidecar has failed FCC clearance at 
least once. This has delayed shipment. 

One rumor said the German engineers knew the Sidecar would 
fail FCC clearance, but submitted it anyway. 

Another said the Sidecar is currently for sale in England, 
Europe and Australia. Another said it is on sale in Canada, but 
others say it is currently under test by the CSA, the equivalent 
of our FCC. 

CBM was told by their own staff that the product could not 
pass FCC inspection, and they brought in an outside FCC 
expert, whose tests also failed, but they sent it in anyway. 
There were FCC specialists on the CBM West Chester staff, 
but they were laid off . 

Don't expect to buy a Sidecar before January, according to 
smart folks. Dealers might have demo units before then. 
Several demo Sidecars are making the rounds at user group 
meetings in the United States and Canada. 

Another rumor circulated, contrary to this. The Sidecar 
actually passed FCC clearance, despite rumors to the 
contrary. Commodore is keeping mum, to maximize the 
surprise when the Sidecar ships ahead of schedule. 



This is hard to believe. 
marketing as a given, I 
under their collective hats. 



Taking the slapstick of Commodore 
don't think they could keep this one 



However, this crazy rumor correlates to another Sidecar 
rumor. Someone has a friend who works for Commodore's 
advertising agency. They saw a four-color separation for an 
advertisement offering an Amiga and a Sidecar for $1395, in a 
"back-to-school" promotion. 

AmlgaDOS1.2 

So many people are excited about version 1 .2-of the operating 
system. I'm not sure why. People were exchanging beta 
copies like wildfire - beta 2, beta 4, beta 5, beta 6, beta 7, and 
even rumors of a beta 9 flowed on the networks during the 
summer months. 

Some developers got 5-disk sets of beta 2 and beta 4 from 
Commodore-Amiga, others got beta 6, but not 2 or 4. All of 
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In fad, Commodore sent a memo to dealers, warning them not 
to distribute the 1.2 betas as operating system upgrades. 
Jumping on (his, CompuServe's Online Today, an electronic 
magazine, reported that Commodore was recalling the Amiga 
operating system. Sheesh. 

Version 1.2 gives many more features, such as faster disk 
access. This is less in the realm of rumor, since so many 
people have copies of 1 .2. 

The developer disk set contained full online documentation of 
the changes and bug fixes present in each release. A future 
article in Amazing Computing will detail the new commands, so 
keep your shirt on, don't complain to me if your 1 .2 betas crash 
a lot, and wait for the real release. 

1.2 rumors 

The disks were accompanied by many 1 .2-related rumors. 

One, that MetaComco is going to sell a BCPL compiler. 
Presumably, some developers could use it to fix AmigaDOS. 
This language isn't very popular in the United States, but more 
so in England. This is backed up by their own advertisements 
in other Amiga magazines. 

Two, that Commodore-Amiga has re-hired MetaComco 
programmers to fix and improve AmigaDOS. Another source 
denies this rumor, and claims the original rumors 
misunderstood the completion of the fvletaComco contract, 
and the contract work being done by former Los Gates 
programmers. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 53 



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Three, that MetaComco was planning a tools disk, with a pipe 
handler, a special kind of file re-direction, like '<' and '>' in the 
present CLL . . ,.- 

It has an AUX: device for hanging a glass teletype off the 
serial port, for true (?) mulli-user capabilities. This tool kit disk 
would include other tools to improve and enhance the 
AmigaDOS enviroment, 

(Actually, 'NEWCLI < SER:' gives this result, but this type of 
I/O is buffered in 512 byle blocks, which hampers 
interactivity.) 

Four, that 1.2 was once completed, and that people attended 
Los Gatos "Ship it!" parties, complete with autographed 
Workbench disks. However, several sources claim some bugs 
were RE-INSTALLED to insure that Two Major Programs ran 
correctly under 1.2. Of course, this means Deluxe Paint and 
AmigaBasic. 

This change was made under order from CBfvl West Chester. 
Some said that this version will be frozen in ROfyl in future 
products. 

Five, that Los Galos techies are working on a utility to read 
and write IBM format disks under AmigaDOS, which will 
breathe new life into 5 1/4 inch drive sales. 



New Amiga Basic 

I'd guess 1.2 will be distributed with an updated version of 
Amiga Basic, or a new version will be on sale before January 1, 
1987. Either way, authorities tell me that Microsoft is 
developing an improved version, and that its specs are 
constantly changing. Who would need to know these 
specifications? Amiga Basic compiler writers. 

DMCS, Deluxe Paint II 

Dan Silva, author of Deluxe Paint, demonstrated Deluxe Paint 
II at SIGGRAPH this summer. SIGGRAPH is the graphics 
group of a national computer association, and their convention 
showcases the latest advances in computer graphics. 

What can be found in the new Deluxe Paint? Virtual pictures, 
larger than the screen, for one. !l will allow you to change 
resolutions without re-starting the program. Many minor 
enhancements, such as a patterned area fill, are also present. 

Deluxe Music Construction Set is due in October, according to 
sources. 

Former Los Gatos programmer RJ Mical, the 'father' of 
Intuition, is said to have signed a contract with Electronic Arts, 
to write an Amiga game program. Also. EA is expected to blow 
away SubLogic and Microprose with a new, super-fast flight 
simulator program, some time in the next year. 

Amiga Turbo Pascal 

Will the Amiga ever run Turbo Pascal? Borland promised this in 
the first few months of 1986. The Macintosh version was set 
for release in the middle of September, and inside sources said 
the Amiga and ST versions were to followthe Mac version. 

Other sources close to the company claim version 4.0 for the 
IBM is a higher priority than the Amiga and ST versions. In 
other words, forget it for at least six months, maybe longer. 

Jet and Flight Simulator 

SubLogic is readying Amiga versions o( Jet Flight Simulator. 
SubLogic employees attend their local Amiga user group 
meeting, and mention features of the new versions. 
Fortunately, the Amiga versions will be enhancements instead 
of straight ports. 

Since the Amiga disks hold more information, more scenery will 
be included. Both programs will support a two-player mode, 
through the serial port. Beta versions used high baud rates 
and a direct link between two machines, but many people claim 
you will be able to dogfight across town, with your modem. 

PC/ET emulator 

Remember PC/^T, the other IBM emulator? According to 
Alfonso Guerra, president of SoftTeam, the alternative 
software IBM emulator is not ready, and may not be ready for 
several months. 

On a message posted to several networks, he apologized for 
taking money before the product was ready, and offered an 
immediate refund to an unhappy (prospective) customers. He 
claimed they were surprised by the 'openness' of the Amiga 
architechure, whatever that means, and this hampered 
development. 



54 Volume 1, #8 



RAM and hard disks 

Many people have been waiting, waiting and waiting for Amiga 
hard disks and memory expansion. I suspect the market is 
still not settled. However, prices are dropping, and features 
are being added, which indicates competition is increasing. 

One rumor claimed a well-known Amiga product company will 
bundle one megabyte of RAM with a 20 megabyte hard drive, 
all for $1500. 

Also, several RAM board makers are promising somewhat non- 
volatile RAM: disks. What does this mean? It means you 
won't lose the files in your RAM disk when you crash or warm- 
boot your Amiga, as long as the crashing program didn't 
overwrite your RAM: disk files. The special software needed 
for this will determine if that memory was violated, and warn 
you accordingly. 

This enhancement will be very attractive to software 
developers. They have been using memory exansions as 
ersatz hard disks, to speed program compilation and linking. 
Programs under development tend to crash alot. After a crash, 
reloading the RAM: disk takes several minutes. 

Aegis Draw updates 

Aegis Development has announced an update to Aegis Draw. 
This is mostly bug fixes and user suggestions. They have also 
announced Aegis Draw Plus, which has a slew of new features, 
including 640 x 400 resolution. It will be offered to Draw 
owners for less than difference between Draw and Draw Plus. 

Bill Volk, one of the primaries at Aegis, has dropped hints that 
they are thinking about new drawing programs that REQUIRE 
more than 51 2K of memory. He also dropped hints they are 
working on a telecommunication program. Isn't everybody? 
How many telecom programs can the market sustain? 

Nevir products 

A new (ximpany is planning several Amiga products. 1 
promised I wouldn't reveal their name. What do you think of 
this line-up: A program to read and write Mac, ST, and IBM 3 
1/2 disk formats, a $150 SCSI hard-disk interiace, a $30 MIDI 
interface, and a $60 sound digitizer. 

They are also busy acquiring other software for Amiga ports. 
They have already signed agreements with some well-known 
developers. They are legit, not a fly-by nigh! group. Best of 
all, they have promised not to advertise until the products are 
READY. 

Paperclip Elite 

The Paperclip Elite word processor from Batteries Included will 
be available late this year, for $129, according to a 81 
newsletter. 

Dig IVIew updates 

The DigiView video digitizer will have soon have new software 
and optional hardware. A! one demonstration, NewTek showed 
a motorized control for the color filter wheel used to make color 
pictures. Tfie unit plugs into the spare joystick port, and 
saves you the trouble of spinning the filter to the correct color. 
Also, the HAM software has been improved, to increase its 
ability to resolve sharp edges. 




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SoundScape and Pro MIDI, the music products from Mimetics, 
have finally arrived. This summer, Mimetics gave Amiga MIDI 
enthusiasts quite a scare when they didnt answer their 
phones for several weeks. They were working hard on the 
software, and gave the phone to the answering service. 

Users complain it has too many windows, but acknowledge it 
as the superior Amiga MIDI product at this time. Pro MIDI 
program includes a MIDI patch program, and a program to 
convert SMUS files to SoundScape format. 

More Bllsh books 

A company called SoftCircuits produces POLO, a circuit- 
design program for the Amiga. The head of the company, Ben 
Blish, is writing his first science fiction novel, due out this 
spring. His father is James Blish, a noted science fiction 
author. 

Optical Moose 

Tel-Shop, a cable TV mail order house, was selling the Amiga. 
The announcer said it had "an optical-digital moose", and that 
you could use the Amiga to pay your gas bill by opening the 
Utilities drawer on the Workbench. 

•AC- 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 55 



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If purchased along with a Convertible board product, the Mini-Rack-B will be available (September 22nd) for 
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The Mini-Rack-B coupled with our Convertible product line allows new Amiga owners the ability to start out 
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56 Volume 1, #8 



The Amazing C 
Tutorial 



...'C what you are getting into. 



By John Foust 

A new computer language holds a particular fascination for 
some. It entices tfie weekend software buyer. It beckons the 
casual computer programmer, the person who programs for 
pleasure, not for profit. 

Early Amiga developers had less choice in the matter of 
software development languages. Knowledge of the C 
language was implicitly required. 

Although the deveioper's package included a 68000 
assembler, most of the examples in the ROM Kernal manuals 
are written in C. The Modula-2 or assembly language afficiando 
must translate each example. 

Of course, il can be argued that C is today's programmer 
Esperanto, and that Amiga-Commodore (sounds better that 
way, huh?) didn't have the time to translate the examples into a 
miriad of other languages, most of which hadn't been ported to 
the Amiga at the time. 

Since C is the language of choice for quick and easy 
development on the Amiga, many novice programmers are 
attracted to the language. Sparks fly when a novice 
programmercollides with a developer-oriented compiler. 

As I stated in the first Amazing C Tutorial, this column is aimed at 
the novice programmer, or the programmer who knows BASIC 
or FORTRAN, and wants to iearn C. I imagine the most loyal 
followers of this column to be weekend programmers. 

For example, today's Amiga C compilers assume some 
familiarity with the Unix and PC-DOS styles of command line 
arguments. After all, if you know C, you learned it on another 
computer, correct? 

The compiler manuals have few examples, and they don'l 
explain everylhing. They assume the reader can extrapolate 
from the examples given, using their past experience. 

In such a foreign situation, many new C programmers are 
frustrated. Frankly, getting past the compiler starl-up syntax is 
peanuts. As Hack fanatics put it; "Just wait until 
you get to level 28." 

Dont despair. In fact, experienced programmers are often 
frustrated by C. I am constantly impeded by "gotchas" that take 
hours of debugging. Then again, at my 'real' day job, I program 
PC-DOS computers, which adds another level of "gotchas" 
beyond the standard set of C "gotchas." 



Do you catch my drift? I'm telling you NOT to use C! If you are a 

weekend programmer, and you don't have a lot of experience 
in other high level and assembly languages, your progress will 
be stymied by C. Expect C travel to be slow. C will gleefully 
present you with roadblocks, one at a time. When you step 
over one, another will be lurking around the next bend in the 
code. Be prepared. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

(Presumably, the weekend programmer eventually evolves into 
a Guru, after stepping through the ranks of local expert, 
hacker, wizard, et al. Sort of like the Boy Scouts.) 

If you think you have exhausted the power of BASIC on 
another machine, you have not scratched the surface of BASIC 
on the Amiga. With the power of libraries, you can do a great 
deal in Amiga Basic. You can access most of the graphics, 
sound and speed of the Amiga in Amiga Basic, by calling library 
functions. True BASIC has its own flavor of library functions. 
Both BASlCs allow powerful graphics manipulations much 
easierthan C. 

Most C programs call the SAME functions, so in many cases, 
you aren't any better off writing in C. Expect to eeeeeease into 
C. Don't plan on writing a magnum opus a week after you buy a 
C compiler. 

In each language Ihey sample, (he weekend programmer faces 
a similar set of problems. One of the first is strings, the 
manipulation ottext and characters. 

First, I will present a set of examples in BASIC, and then discuss 
similar string operations in C. This C tutorial might leach you 
more about BASIC than about C! 

Each language has its own way to process words and 
characters. Some languages have no special provisions for 
strings. C has only minimal provisions for strings. 

In effect, you have 1o roll your own. Fortunately, every C 
compiler is supplied with standard library functions to 
manipulate a certain kind o\ character string. 

The BASIC language is a good example of a language that has 
many provisionsforthe manipulation of strings. 

It has a string data type. Any variable with a '$' character at the 
end of the variable name can contain characters ortext. 



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For example, a BASIC program might give a string variable an 
initial value: 

Haiu$ = "John Boy" 

Unless you are a well-advanced BASIC programmer, you 
wouldn't l^now what was really iiappening when this statement 
is executed. Which bytes are getting shuffled inside the 
memory of the computer? Where are the bytes "John Boy" 
stored at any given moment? 

For almost all practical BASIC programs, you can create dozens 
of strings, and use more of the computer's memory, without 
any adverse reaction from the BASIC interpreter. 

This is a beauty of BASIC. You do not need to be concerned 
with the location or the length of character strings. In C, you 
have complete control over strings, with a corresponding 
increase in responsibility. 

If a C programmer is standing nearby, and you show them this 
program, their mind will start to ask questions. "Where are 
those strings stored?" "What really happens when you enter 
'Name$ = "John Boy"'?" 

By this lime, the C programmer will be snicl<ering about your 
choice of language. C programmers look down their nose at 
BASIC, for several reasons, not all of them valid. Actually, the 
BASIC programmer has a secret load of ammunition to volley at 
snotty programmers, yet most dont use it. 



Here's a snappy comeback: If you like to program in BASIC, and 
a C programmer is acting superior, ask them if they own a 
BASIC interpreter. Ask them if they use it. I'd wager that most 
do. They use it for quick and dirty programs that manipulate 
strings. 

Although the equivalent program could be written in 0, many 
experienced programmers still write short, quick 
and dirty programs in BASIC, since the interactivity and 
freedom of string manipulation is preferable to the edit-compile- 
link cycle of C programming. 

Actually, on the Amiga, some C programmers are using Amiga 
Basic to prototype their programs. Since they can access most 
of the functions they w\\\ be using in their C programs, and 
BASIC is interactive, why not? Small user interface changes are 
easier to enact in BASICthan C, in many cases. 

BASIC has a string concatenation operator, the '+ (plus) sign. 
What is string concatenation? 'Concaf means 'to put together'. 
Concatenation means gluing strings together, one at the end 
of the other. 

We can continue the above BASIC example: 

Bye$ = "Good night, " + Naine$ 

After this statement is executed, 'Bye$' will contain 'Good 
night, John Boy'. If you remember the discussion of 
expressions, BASIC would referto 

"Good night, " + NameS 

as a string expression. We can print this expression, or assign it 
to another string variable, and in either case, the value of the 
expression is the same. 

A good question to ask is "Does this change 'NameS' in any 
way?" In BASIC, it does not. 

In BASIC, strings are stored in a dynamic storage space. This 
means that the characters that make up any given string are 
managed by the BASIC interpreter itself, in a section of memory 
reserved for character strings. 

This storage area is called 'dynamic' because it changes in size 
as your program is interpreted by the computer. As you 
operate on strings, the BASIC interpreter is making copies of 
your strings, and moving them around in memory, in the way it 
seesfit. 

So, assuming 'Bye$' above had never been used before in our 
program, the B^SIC interpreter will make room for it in the siring 
storage space, and set up some other housekeeping 
information about the string, such as its name, and the number 
of characters in the string. Then, it would copy the characters 
"Good night, " to a temporary working area, add the characters 
in 'Name$' to the end, and copy the resulting "Good night, 
John Boy" to a freshly prepared area in the string storage 
space, which is associated with the 'ByeS' string. 

You might have discovered this programming concept before; 
If you store a list of objects, you can manage the list in two ways. 



58 



Volume 1, #8 



One, remember how many objects are in the list, in a separate 
variable. Two, te) the list grow as it will, but use a special place- 
holding value in the list to mark the end of the objects. 

The first method has the advantage of allowing all values for 
objects. The second method has the special case object that 
marks the end of the list, and no list element can have that 
value, or the program would be confused about the actual 
numberof objects in the list. 

In the case of strings, the objects are characters, and Ihe list is 
the string of characters. The BASIC interpreter uses the first 
method. The standard C string functions use the second. 

Each character in the computer is represented by a byte, and a 
byte can hold 256 values, from to 255. Since the BASIC 
interpreter remembers the length of the string, it can allow any 
character in the string. It could have control characters in it, 
such as null, the zeroth character. In BASIC, you are free to 
place any character in a string. 

In C, the special place-holding value is the null character, 
character number 0. All standard C strings are terminated with a 
null character. In C, you cannot have the null character in a 
siring. (Don't confuse null with the character '0', which is Ihe 
printable zero. Character '0' is represented with a byte with a 
value of 48, in the ASCII code used in the Amiga.) 

Where are C strings stored? Anywhere you want them. 
Usually, you would know an upper limit on the length of the 
strings you would be manipulating, and you would create fixed 
length, fixed locations for the characters that make up the 
string. There are other ways of storing strings in C, and those 
might be explored in afuture column. 

C does not have built-in string assignment or concatenation 
operators, unlike BASIC. It does have the standard library 
function called 'strcpyO', which copies a C string from one 
location to another. Since all C strings are terminated by the 
null character, 'strcpy()' knows when to stop copying bytes. 

'StrcpyO' lakes ^° parameters, two pointers-to-characters. The 
first parameter points to the destination area, the second points 
to the characters to be moved. This order is the same as the 
BASIC string operator, which says 'NameS = "John Boy"', so 
you might remember the order this way: "destination, source." 

The function 'strcatO' is the C string concatenation function. It 
lakes two parameters, two pointers-to-characters. The 
parameters are in the same order as 'strcpyO'; destination, 
source. ' ' -■ 

To duplicate the above example; 

mainO 

( 

char Haste [30]; 

cbar Bye [SO] ; 

strcpy {Name, "John Boy"); 

strcpy (Bye, "Good night, ") ; 

Btrcat (Bye, Name) ; 

puts (Bye) ; 
) 



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This short C program, presented in its entirety, reserves space 
for 30 characters in a character array named 'Name', and 50 
characters in an array named 'Bye'. 

The characters "John Boy" are copied to the 'Name' array, in 
the first invocation of 'strcpyO'. Implicitly, the zero character is 
copied tothe end, afterthe 'y' in 'Boy'. 

(This means that you must remember to declare one more 
character for the null character. Also, remember that a 
declaration such as 'char Name[30];' reserves thirty bytes, 
which can be accessed as elements 'Name[0]' through 
'Name[29]'. C numbers array elements from to N-1, unlike 
FORTRAN, where thef irst array element is element one.) 

Then the "Good night, " characters are copied to the 'Bye' 
array. Finally, the characters in 'Name' are concatenated on the 
characters in 'Bye', leaving "Good night, John Boy" in the "Bye' 
array, followed by the zero character. 

This example leaves no doubt as to the location of the 
characters in the strings of our program. Or does it? Where are 
the initializing strings "John Boy" and "Good night, " really 
stored? 

When any C program is compiled, the data objects, such as the 
literal strings like "John Boy", are stored in the object code of 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 59 



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the program. In the first call to 'strcpyO', the first parameter of 
the 'strcpyO' function points to the 'Name' array, and the 
second points off into them initialized data space of the object 
code. 

In this way, there is no doubt as to the location of the strings, 
and the data used to initialize them, as opposed to BASIC, 
where you have little to no knowledge of the location of the 
bytes in a string. 

Hereisacommon mistake for beginning C programmers: 

{ 

char *Nains; 
char *Bye; 

Name = "John Boy"; 

Bye = "Good night, "; 
strcat {Bye,Najne) ; 

putB (Bye) ; 



What happens in this example? There are two pointers to 
characters declared, with (he same names as before. A C 
novice might be tempted lo think a pointer-to-character is the 
same as a BASIC string variable. 



In this example, the location of the initialized data string "John 
Boy" is assigned to the character pointer 'Name". At this point, 
you could 'puts(Name)', and the string "John Boy" would be 
printed. 

After the similar assignment to the 'Name' variable, the string 
"Good night, " could be printed, using 'puts()' or 'printf()'. This 
might convince you that the strings are in perfect order, and 
that the compiler, its authors, and the Amiga's 68000 processor 
itself are all out to ge! you, when your program Guru mediates at 
the next line, the call to 'strcat()'. 

What happens? 'strcpyO' gleefully copies the characters 
pointed to by 'Name' to the location pointed to by 'Bye', But 
these strings are stored in the program's initialized data space, 
an area generally off-limits to this sort of brutish manipulation. 
The characters are added to the end of the "Good night, " 
characters. 

One problem - this area is not 'ours', in the sense of our 
declared data space, such as the "Name' and 'Bye' arrays in the 
previous example. It may contain information important to the 
smooth operation of the operating system. 

It may contain the storage space for other initialized data strings 
in our program, which will surely confuse the novice 
programmer, since the characters in other constant strings will 
appearto change underttieirfeet. 

If we add the line ■ i 

puts("What happened?"); 
John Boy 

after the 'puls(Bye);' line, the program might work. The "What, 
happened?" siring is initialized data, and might be stored right 
after the "Good night, " characters, separated by the 
terminating zero character of all C strings. 

In this case, the "John Boy" characters might be copied over 
the "What happened?" characters, resulting in "ohn 
Boyppened?" printing, instead of "What happened?", since 
the 'J' was copied over the terminating zero in "Good night, ", 
and the "ohn Boy" string obliterated the "What ha" characters in 
the next string. 

Since the "putsCWhat happened?');' call is only composed of 
literal data, the 'puts()' function is passed a pointer to a specific 
address in memory, which is a pointer to a character, after all. 
This location is hard wired into the program code, because the 
"What happened?" strir>g is initialized character data, and it 
doesn't move in memory, once the program code is loaded off 
the disk into memory. 

This picture might help: 

John BoyOGood night, OWhat happened?0 

I have used the printable '0' character to represent the non- 
printing null character, in order to show the layout of the bytes 
in the initialized data in the object code of our program. 



60 



Volume 1, #8 



Public Domain Software 



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In the first example, without the "What happened?" diagnostic, 
the end of our initialized data space was the after the "Good 
night, " string. In the second example, the end is after 
"happened?". 

To muddy the waters even more, imagine that an integer value 
is stored between the initialized data strings. If the integer, 
stored as two or four bytes, holds the value '1', and the 'strcatO' 
replaces these bytes with characters like 'ohn ', what happens 
to the value of this integer? Normally, it goes through the roof, 
and becomes very large, or very negative. 

Please note that this is a somewhat theoretical example, and 
that if you implement it on different compilers, it may do 
different things, or nothing like this at all. 

If you have been reading between the lines, you might realize 
that I am the 'novice programmer' in this example. I wasn't born 
with a C manual in hand, I had to stumble through this, too. I'm 
still stumbling, sometimes. C is a very subtle language. If you 
ever overhear a group oi C programmers telling 'war stories', 
they might be telling tales of mix-ups like this example. 

This is a good example of a debugging diagnostic 'fixing' a 
program, which can be a common and frustrating experience. 
A program might work well with all your debugging and testing 
code in place, but once you remove it, the program slops 
working. 



The moral? If you want to manipulate strings in C, declare the 
space yourself, and manage it yourself. Don't be tricked by the 
differences between the pointers to data, and the data itself. 

You might think that the designers of C couldn't make up their 
minds about strings. After all, the implicit zero character is 
placed at the end oi every literal string, as if in anticipation of the 
'strcpyO' and 'strcatO' functions, and yet there are no built-in 
string operators, like BASIC'S '-i-' and '=' string operators. 

This is part of the beauty of C. The language designers knew 
that some data types are very common to all programs, and they 
added only enough support to declare data of those types, and 
provided only a bare minimum of arithmetic and bit-level 
operators for those data types. The rest was left to the C 
libraries, which have standard functions like 'strcpy{)". 

If you don't like the way 'strcpy ()" works, change it. If you want to 
use the '$' dollar-sign character to terminate strings, like the 
CP/M operating system does, then you can easily re-write 
'strcpyO' to expect '$' at the end of strings. If you want unlimited 
characters in strings, you can write string manipulation routines 
similar to those in BASIC, which keep track of the number of 
characters in the string, instead of using a place holder 
character. 

In C, you get exactly what you ask for. Of course, this is often 
not exactly what you want, which can be very frustrating. 



•AC- 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 61 













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Screen SaVer 



Don't allow your monitor's phosphors to "burn in" 

By Perry Kivolowitz 

Usenet: ihnp4!p1sfa!well!perry 



Hey! This month represents the first issue of Amazing 
Computing to contain the new format Miga-Mania! Under the 
new format, I will present a short (three hundred or so lines) 
program each month and explain haw the program was written 
and how it works. Every month you'll get a useful program plus a 
tutorial on how to juice up your software library, as well as your 
knowledge base with each copy of Amazing Computing you 
acquire! 

I'll begin with a program which I've heard many people wish 
existed. Ttiere is a need for a small program which would detect 
extended periods of "user" idleness and, if such a period is 
detected, cause the contents of the screen to be replaced with 
some image which would not allow the monitor's phosphors to 
"burn in." 

As you might know, some computer terminals have this feature 
built into their firmware. That is, if no key is struck for a given 
period of time, the screen is blanked out. To return the video 
signal to the screen, the user simply hits any key. 

This is an important feature since monitors may be damaged if 
they are asked to display a static (non-changing) view for 
extended periods of time. If you've ever seen a "burned" 
monitor, you'll have noticed that the screen contains an image 
even when off. What you're actually looking at (the ghosted 
image) are the damaged phosphors. 

Detecting extended periods of "user" idleness on a computer 
terminal is pretty straight forward. Just keep track of the elapsed 
time since the last time the user struck any key. 

On the Amiga detecting periods of "user" idleness is not easy. 
First, why do I keep saying "user" idleness? Why not invoke 
the screen saver based upon c.p.u. idle time? Let's say you had 
a graphics program that spent a huge amount of time 
computing before it rendered its result into a window. While the 
computation takes place, the machine is, of course, not idle and 
therefore the screen saver won't kick in. However, if you go to 
lunch while your Amiga chugs away, your monitor displays the 
same unchanging view for a potentially long time. 

Ideally we want to simulate as closely as possible the situation 
with computer terminals. That is. blank the screen only after the 
user has indicated to us that he's no longer around to look at 
the screen. To do this we have to try to figure out when the last 
time the user struck a key or moved the mouse. 

Ummmm. Tricky. Tricky because mouse and keyboard activity 
are being handled by whatever program the user is running, not 
us. There are, however, two ways this could be done. 



Both methods make use of the fact that AmigaDos starts a task 
whenever a CON; device is opened or whenever Intuition is 
running. The task, called the "input.device" acts as a conduit 
for keyboard, mouse, and timer i/o. The input device, (or 
example, is the program which moves the mouse pointer 
around. It's what Intuition uses to pass keyboard or mouse 
activity back to your programs using the IDCMP (Intuition Direct 
Communications Message Port). 

So, we can measure user idleness by detecting activity by the 
input device (if for some rare set of circumstances the input 
device is not running, which does happen if you use programs 
which take direct control of the machine, we'll have to use some 
other metric for deciding when the user's been idle). 

The first way of detecting user activity through the input device 
is by inserting a small monitoring task into the list of input event 
"handlers." Input event handlers are a list of routines to which 
the input device passes all keyboard or mouse activity. The 
input device basically runs down the list of handlers asking; 
"Does this make sense to you?" 

Each handler has an opportunity to accept the input event and 
claim it for its own use thus removing it from consideration by 
the remaining input event handlers. This is how, for example, 
the close gadget is intercepted by Intuition and passed to you 
as a close gadget selection rather than as a normal mouse 
button depression. 

Instead of claiming the input event for itself an input handler can 
simply ignore the input event allowing it to be passed on to the 
other input handlers. Or, the input handler can record the 
nature of the event before it passes it on to the other handlers. 
That is, insert an input handler into the input device at the very 
front of the input handler list. Every time an input event comes 
along, simply note the event and pass it on. If a long enough 
period elapses without seeing any input events, kick in the 
Screensaver. 

Though conceptually simple, it's not the method of choice for 
two reasons. First, coding wise, it (insertion into the input 
handler list) is pretty complicated and I didn't feel like figuring 
out how to do it. Second, the code to do all this would take up a 
fair amount of memory. Remember, we want this program to be 
started from the startup-sequence and hang around all the 
time. As such we don't want to waste more memory than 
necessary. 

The second method of detecting input device activity (and thus 
user activity) is pretty novel and very easy to implement. 1 said 
to me self, I says (sorry, I'll turn off Popeye now) "If the user is 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 



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not doing anything, then the input device must be waiting at 
some instruction for an event to happen just like a user process 
would wait for an Intuition event." If this is so, we should be able 
to detect this by examining the program counter of the input 
device task. Woah. 

The program counter is the machine register which tells the 
computer which instruction is the next one to be executed. 
When a task is bumped from the c.p.u. so that another task may 
run (remember that the Amiga is a multi-tasking computer) the 
complete state of the bumped task must be saved. This 
includes all the machine registers among which the p.c. 
(program counter) can be found. 

When a task is bumped from the c.p.u. the Amiga EXEC 
pushes the machine registers of the bumped task onto the 
task's own stack. This, by the way, accounts for the minimum 
allowable stack size of 70 bytes. That's how much space is 
required to hold all the saved machine registers for a given task. 

The location of the task's stack is readily available from the task 
structure whose location can trivially be found (thanks Amiga!) 
by calling FindTask. 

So, detecting input device activity is as simple as examining a 
memory location at a specific offset from the input device's 
current stack pointer.To be honest I really have no idea at what 
offset from the stack pointer the p.c. is saved. 



To be very, very honest 1 really have no idea what it is I am 
actually looking at (two long words behind the current stack 
position) but it seems to do exactly what 1 want it to do so 

In keeping with the idea that the screen saver should occupy as 
little memory as possible, 1 originally attempted to use the 
graphics macros ON_DlSPLAY and OFF_DISPLAY which, 1 
thought, would interrupt the flow of data to the screen and thus 
afford a completely blank screen. 

The advantage of blanking the screen this way, would be to 
make the program exceedingly small if constructed using these 
macros. Also, the screen would be rendered completely blank, 
in fact 1 had hoped that the OFF_DlSPLAY'ed screen would be 
as dark as a powered down monitor (only the power on indicator 
would tell you the monitor was even on). 

The disadvantages of using OFF_DISPLAY and ON_DISPLAY 

were two. First, a completely blank screen is exceedingly 
boring. The other reason was that after getting the macros to 
compile properly (with Manx 3.20A}, I delected no useful action 
caused by OFF_DlSPLAY so there seemed to be little use in 
investigating this avenue. 

I decided to construct a pretty lively display in which no 
phosphor would be overly taxed. The display would be 
interesting to look at while at the same time, designed not to 
excite any particular phosphor for any extended period. 

When the screen saver kicked in, I brought a one bit plane 
screen to the front. The screen is allocated dynamically and 
does not take up any memory until the screen saver has actually 
detected an extended idle period. 

in choosing a one bit plane screen too much memory will not 
be consumed and any drawing operations performed will take 
place with little effort. 

Then, rising from the dark screen came one hundred or so 
single pixels. The dots are of a randomly chosen color with the 
proviso that the brightest color values the Amiga is capable of 
are excluded (a dimmer pixel is a less excited pixel, hi ho). 

Along with the dots will appear a happy face 21 pixels high by 
37 pixels wide. More about the happy face later. 

After all the dots and the happy face have assumed their 
ultimate color values, they begin to dance merrily about the 
screen. Each dot follows its own course at its own speed. The 
happy face also moves around the screen but with a predictable 
course and speed. 

After a while thadots will begin leaving a trail over where they've 
been. The happy face will appear to float behind the trail. The 
screen will become covered (for a short time) with dot trails and 
the user may become totally mesmerized. 

Then, suddenly, everything stopped and then slowly faded 
away. Whatever screen was up front when the screen saver 
kicked in is brought to the front again for five seconds at the 
end of which time the whole cycle will repeat itself (with a 
different color and different dot tracks). 



64 



Volume I, #8 



Now, you might ask, what's tha happy face for? Welt, to answer 
this question let me tell you the two ways you can "exit" the 
screen saver. 

If you click the left mouse button (LIvlB) anywhere on the 
screen but NOT on the happy face, the screen saver will go 
back to its dormant state of periodically checking for an 
extended idle period. Ail of the memory used by the screen 
with ils dots will be returned lo the free pool. 

If you click the LfVlB DIRECTLY Of^ the happy face (you gotta be 
fast!) the screen saver will actually exit in the formal sense. That 
is, the program will return all of its resources and then terminate 
completely. 

The happy face is actually a full fledged Intuition gadget that I 
have set in motion! The imagery itself was created using Deluxe 
Paint from ElectronicArts. I saved the face as a DPaint BRUSH 
and used the program Gl to convert the saved brush file into C 
statements suitable for inclusion into a program. The program Gl 
is available on Fish Disk #14 and was written by Mike Farren. 
Thanks Mike and Fred (how's the new place?). 

Before we get into the code, one more thing worth mentioning. 
While talking to Gary Murakami (a person of much UNIX (TM) 
fame, now an Amiga enthusiast), he mentioned that people 
ought to be able to specify how long a time period is to be 
considered "really" idle. Some people might want one minute, 
others might want twenty. So, at Gary's suggestion I added a 
command line argument (which means the screen saver must 
be run from the CLI and, in fact, would be a natural contender 
lor inclusion into the start up-script)which specifies how many 
idle minutes are to elapse before the screen saver kicks in. 
If no time period is specified a default of four minutes is used. 
Now! On to the code! 

I declared some routines to be external to this module. These 
routines will in fact be defined by the C compiler libraries during 
program linkage. I have to declare these routines because if I 
didn't the C compiler would not have any way to tell their type at 
the time the program was compiled. 

Remember from an earlier tutorial I wrote In Amazing 
Computing, those functions which return integers don't have 
to be explicitly declared as doing so but functions returning any 
thing else must be explicity declared so that the function's type 
can be determined accurately. 

Next, I declare some preprocesser symbols which I find useful 
to cut down the amount of typing I have to do later on. One of 
the hassles in writing well structured code is that sometimes, 
due to indentation, lines become exceedingly long. These 
preprocessor symbols also often help cut down on long line 
lervgths. 

One symbol worth noting is GMEM. GMEM is defined as the 
logical "or'ing of two other preprocessor symbols (defined in 
exec/memory. h). MEMF_CHIP means that the memory about 
to be allocated should come from chip memory and thus be 
accessible by the graphics coprocessor. 




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Since GMEM would have been used here, why not throw in 
MEMF_CLEAR which says that when the memory is allocated it 
should be initialized to zeroes. Why not! 

NPTS defines the number of dots I'm going to move around the 
screen. HAPPY_FACE is a symbol standing for a sentinel 
value. If I see this value come back from the "zoom" routine, I 
know that the user struck the happy face gadget and wants the 
screen saver to terminate. 

FACE_WIDTH and FACE_HEIGHT are, of course, the width 
and height of the happy face gadget. Notice I cast them to 
longs by appending an "L"to the digits. 

Next I undefine the symbol "min". I have no idea at this point if 
the symbol has been defined by someone somewhere and if it 
has, I have no way of knowing how. So, I deep six it if it was 
there. If it wasn't already defined then there's no harm done. 

I define min to be a preprocessor function returning the smaller 
of its two arguments. Notice the use of the trinary operator '?". 
The value of the whole expression will be the value of the sub- 
expression following the question mark up to the colon if the 
value of the sub-expression appearing before the question 
mark evaluates to TRUE (non-zero). If the initial sub-expression 
evaluates to FALSE (zero) the value of the whole expression 
becomes the value of the sub-expression following the coton. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 



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Think of the trinary operator 
statements. 



"?" as a way of coding "in-line" IF 



Notice that I parenthesize everything, even each instance of 
the macro's arguments. Heavy parenthesization is needed to 
prevent some pretty nasty bugs from cropping up. 

For example, if I wanted a macro which returned the square of 
its argument I would write: 

#def ine SQUARE (X) ( (X) * (X) ) 
and not: 
#defineSQDARE(X)X * X 

Why? Let's say the argument passed was "2 + 5". The 
expected result is of course 7 squared which is 49. If we passed 
"2 + 5" to the second form of the macro we'd gel "2 + 5*2 + 5" 
which is 1 7. 

Next comes the most important line of the program which if 
removed would cause an immediate and irrecoverable (ever) 
system crash. That is, my name. All kidding aside, always give 
credit where credit is due. 

After the author's credit, 1 define the strings which defined 
which libraries we are going to open. In this case 1 will be using 
the graphics library as well as Intuition so both these libraries 
must be named. 



Correspondingly 1 need to declare library base pointers for each 
library 1 will later open. Next I declare some pointers to entities I'll 
use later as well. These include pointers to the screen and 
window I setup as well as copies of certain pointers that the 
window and screen structure contain. 

1 provide a place to copy the ViewPort pointer, a RastPort 
pointer and a BitMap pointer. The Bitf\yiap is used to reference 
the happy face image during the blitting operations which send 
the face to the screen. The ViewPort and RastPort pointers are 
copied so that when they are used they can be readily 
accessed instead of incurring the costs of dereferencing a 
window or screen pointer. 

One note about the happy face imagery. Normally when I load a 
pre-made image into a program I set up code to AllocRaster a 
duplicately sized array from CHIP memory and copy the original 
image to the newly allocated memory .This has the advantage of 
ensuring that the image data will reside in CHlPmemory. The 
very severe disadvantage is that ! double the memory 
requirements of the image. 

After all, the initialized array o( unsigned short integers is going 
to sit in memory as well as the dynamically declared CHIP 
memory buffer. The way I implemented this program, the 
initialized data (only a couple of hundred bytes) must reside in 
CHIP memory when the program is loaded. With MANX C this 
can easily be done by specifying the loader flag "+c" along with 
the specifier for initialized data.] 

Note that the BitMap variable 'fbm" must also go in CHIP 
memory. Since I have to use the Manx ""+0" construct anyway, I 
can force fbm 1o also go into CHIP memory by declaring it as a 
static. This way the compiler treats the BitMap variable in the 
same way (with respect to memory placement) as the initialized 
array of shorts defining the happy face. 

If you have Lattice C the ATOM utility can be used to ensure 
that the data is loaded properly. 

Next 1 declare sleepy^time to the default value of four minutes. 
The screen saver will check for inactivity every ten seconds or 
six times a minute. The initializer can therefore be read as four 
minutes at six times per minute. 

Each dot drawn on the screen will be controlled by a "point" 
structure. The x and y fields keep track of the dots current 
position. The dx and dy fields represent the amount in the x 
and y directions the dot will move each time it is updated. These 
values are initialized to random values within given constraints. 

Next I declare the happy face gadget structure. Notice that I 
select no high lighting and no imagery as well. It's as if I want 
Intuition to make believe there was a dead zone somewhere on 
the screen which was actually a gadget. This is ,in fact, what I 
want. I'll take care of rendering the gadget's imagery within the 
gadget's selectable area since 1 can do it a lot more efficiently 
than constantly calling RefreshGadgets. 

The NewScreen struct specifies that Intuition should set up a 
640 by 200 single bit plane screen. I ask for defaults in font and 
color since these initial values don't mean anything lo me. 



66 



Volume 1, #8 



The NewWindow structure specifies that the newly created 
window will occupy the entire screen since it is a iull screen 
borderless backdrop window. Backdrop windows are created 
behind all other windows (hence their name). Sometimes more 
than one application that you might wish to run at the same time 
will declare a full screen backdrop borderless window. This has 
the obvious problem of succesive backdrop windows being 
forever obscured by older ones. I don't have any fear of using a 
backdrop window here since this will be the only window 
rendered on the screen. 

Notice thai I want to be told of any mouse depression. Any 
LMB push not on a gadget will be sent due to 
MOUSEBUTTONS. Any LMB over a gadget (there is only one) 
will be sent due to GADGETDOWN (which by the way is the 
proper counter part to a gadget specifying GADGIMMEDIATE). 
If somehow the LMB is depressed over someone else's 
window or screen entirely I'l! STILL be notified because of 
INACTIVEWINDOW. As you can see, I'm pretty serious about 
intercepting any LMB action since this is the way the user exits 
the screen saver and resumes gainful human/computer 
interaction. 

Next comes the definition of the happy face. Since this data will 
be pointed to by a BitMap structure directly and thus addressed 
by the custom display hardware of the Amiga, this data structure 
must reside in the first 512 Kbytes of Amiga memory. As 
mentioned before this is easily accomplished with either Manx 
C or Lattice C (or by not having any extra memory on your 
machine) By the way, speaking of extra memory, did you hear 
thai benchmarks on the CardCo "FAST" RAM expansion show 
that the "FAST" RAM slows your machine down by 32 percent? 
("source-Net News NewsGroup: net. micro. amiga* Nice design 
fellas! Talk about recognition from your peers). 

That at last starts the actual code of Ihe screen saver. The main 
routine (named main. ..see some things in C language are 
intuitivel) is very straight forward. Note the use of argc and argv. 
The way I use argc and argv indicate (correctly) that this 
program expects to be run from the CLI since it looks for an 
ASCII argument specifying the number of minutes of idle time 
needed before Ihe screen saver kicks in. However, should the 
screen saver be run from the Workbench no harm will be done 
since the incoming argc will be zero causing the screen saver to 
default to (our minutes. 

Lei's get the libraries we need opened up. Notice the use of 

the preprocessor symbols to cut down on the number of 
characters on the line (IBPtrand GBPtr). Also, note the zeroes 
as the second argument to OpenLibrary. The zero specified 
where the version number is usually found indicates to EXEC 
that we really don't cars which version of the libraries are out 
there. Justopen'emup! 

The call to init_happy_face does some one lime only chores 
which I described above. That is, I call JnilBitMap on the BitMap 
structure which will look after the happy face and also make the 
BitMap point to the happy face imagery data. 

If either of these two libraries had been disk based I would have 
delayed their opening until 1 had identified an extended idle 



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period. 1 would do this, of course, to reduce the amount of 
memory used by the screen saver all the time. But, since both 
libraries are already in RAM it doesn't matter when I open them. 

The following IF statement ensures that 1 will enter the main 
loop of the program only if both library openings had been 
successful. 

Next we drop into the loop where I'll remain until the user 
actually picks on the happy face with the LMB. Result is the 
value passed back by the "zoom" routine which indicates why 
the zoom routine returned. If the user had delibrately brought 
the LMB crashing down over the poor happy face, zoom 
indicates that the user wishes to fully terminate the program by 
passing back the value HAPPY_FACE. 

OK, here we are. We're in the central loop. The first thing I do is 
wait for inactivity. The waitjorjn activity routine will not return 
until some number of minutes of complete keyboard and 
mouse inactivity has passed. 

When waitjorjn activity returns, the user has gone off to 

meditate. NOW we'll allocate the screen and window. This way 
a minimum of memory is used by the screen saver while it is 
monitoring user activity. Only when the screen and window are 
needed do we call them into existance ("You read a scroll of 
createwindow. --more- A window is created"). 



Amazing Computing"™ ©1986 



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S this convention and set color register zero to the darkest 
value possible (0 red intensity, green intensity, and blue 
intensify). 

I also set color register 1 to all zeros as well. Curious? Doesn't 
this mean Jhat if I draw stuff with color register 1 it will appear the 
same as stuff drawn with color register 0? Absolutely. 

Remember, colors are not written into the display memory. 
Color register numbers are. In the display memory the 
background pixels will have a value of zero. Pixels that I draw 
with the foreground pen (notice the coming SetAPen to color 
register one) will have a value of one. Thus in the display 
memory, background pixels are quite distinct from image pixels. 

However, temporarily (at least) color registers (the 
background) and 1 (the image) are mapped to the same colors 
so that 1 can busify draw the image without the user seeing what 
I am doing (since to himAier all the pixels look the same). 

Anyway, after setting the two color registers to the same dark 
value I initialize the entire window by calling SetRast and 
specifying which color register should be used to fill the entire 
window, 

I set the drawing mode to COMPLEMENT so that anything I 
write will be exclusive or'ed into what's already there. This is 
really useful for cheap animation. Exclusive Or works like this: 



In 



Writing 


On 


Top Of 


Results 


















1 


1 


1 







!l 


1 




1 






Thus if both operands are equal the result is zero. If the 
operands don't equal each other the result is one. The really 
neat part of the above table is the last two lines. 

These specify that if I Exclusive Or an image into blank memory 
the result will be a direct copy o! the image. That's because I 
Exclusive Or'ed a bunch of ones (in the image) v/ith a bunch of 
zeros (in the blank memory). If 1 wanted to erase the image I 
simply repeat exactly the operation that drew the image in the 
first place. 

That is, I'll Exclusive Or a bunch of ones (in the image) with 
another bunch of ones (placed in memory by the last operation) 
to produce a bunch of zeros. Thus Exclusive Or is its own 
inverse operation. 

So to animate a dot across the screen I simply: 

1 Write the initial dot at x,y 

2 Exclusive Or dot at x,y (erase) 

3 X += xjncrement; 
y +=y_increment; 

4 Exclusive Or dot at x,y (draw) 

5 Goto 2 



68 



Volume 1, #8 



Returning from sel_color_map I enter the loop in whicli we'll 
stay as long as the left mouse button is not depressed. In this 
loop I bring the newly created screen to the front by calling 
ScreenToFront. Of course, the first time through the loop the 
newly created screen will already be the front most screen. This 
call is needed because at the bottom of the loop 1 call 
ScreenToBack which causes whichever screen was front most 
when the screen saver kicked in to once again be the front 
most screen. 

The original front most screen stays up front for five seconds 
and then is replaced by the screen saver screen when we loop 
back to the ScreenToFront call. 

After moving the screen saver screen to the front I call the zoom 
routine. Perhaps it is misleading to call the routine "zoom." 1 did 
so because it makes stuff "zoom" around the screen (one might 
think that it "zoomed in orout" or something). 

The zoom routine will return non-zero if the while (1) loop 
needs to be broken. If the user hits the LMB anywhere on the 
screen (but not on the happy face) a value of one is returned 
causing the break statement to be executed. If one is returned, 
notice that the surrounding while loop (result != HAPPY_FACE) 
is not broken thus we loop back to waiting for an extended idle 
period. 

If the user selected the happy face with the LMB then zoom will 
return HAPPY_FACE. HAPPY_FACE being non-zero will break 
this inner loop and will also break the outer loop explicitly 
causing the end of the program. 

Let's get into the zoom function now. 

Class is declared as a place to save the Class value which is part 
of every IntuiMessage. Recall from my earlier tutorials that if I 
want to refer to any part of a message after I have replied to the 
message, I must explicitly save the message conter\ts 
somewhere outside the message. This is because once I reply 
to the message I can no longer be sure of the contents of the 
message since Intuition is now free to reuse the message's 
memory. 

I need to remember the Class of the message so that 1 can 
detect GADGETDOWN messages which can only be caused by 
the user depressing the LMB over the happy face. (You know, I 
wouldn't want to be a mouse button. They are always being 
struck or depressed!) ,.. . , 

I declare a register based pointer to a structure of type "point". I 
am going to use this pointer a great deal so it pays to put it into a 
register. Specifically I will use this register based pointer to step 
through the array declared on the next line. 

I declare the array of point structures which will be used to look 
after the dots on the screen. Notice that by declaring the array 
(which is fairly large) here it gets declared off of the program's 
run time stack. My thinking was that this is exactly what I want. 
The memory used by the array will not be allocated unless it is 
needed. Then I remembered that the Amiga pre-allocates each 
process stack anyway so this advantage is negated. 



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Amazing Computing™ ©1986 



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Likewise I declare a point structure to look after the happy face 
as it travels around the screen. 

Another register based pointer is declared to help me step 
through the array of "point" structures. I initialize the pointer to 
the address of the next location beyond the array. As I step 
through the array I can test p against this boundary pointer to 
tell when I have stepped throught the entire array. Done this 
way, very little overhead is produced (ie: I needn't have a 
secondary loopcounter). 

I next declare in long integers a place to put a red, green, and 
blue color value. Since these numbers range in value from to 
15 they obviously don't need to be in long integers. However, 
when they are passed to EXEC In SetRGB4 calls, they are 
passed as long so why not avoid generating code to convert 
the 16 bit Manx integers into 32 bit long integers by declaring 
them as longs in the first place? 

The style variable is used to switch between erasing the dot's 
trail and not erasing the dot's trail. One pass through the zoom 
routine is comprised of moving the dots around for a while 
erasing their trail as I go followed by a period of moving the dots 
around but leaving theirtrail intact. 

Loops is used to count the number of times through the main 
zoom loop I have gone. Because of the WaitBOVP call I have in 
the main loop, it will take at least the time of one video frame for 
each loop to complete. More on WaitBOVP later. 



Finally, I declare an IntuiMessage pointer to receive the results 
ofcallstoGetMsg. 

The first thing I do is set up the dots on the screen by calling 
set_dots passing it the base address ot the list of point 
structures. 

Set_dots is a simple routine which for each structure (dot) 
choses a random place on the screen for the dot to initially be 
and also chooses a random delta in the x and y directions. As 
the X or y deltas become larger the speed of the dot increases. 
If it works out that there is a large difference between the x and 
y deltas then the slope of the dot's movement will be far from 
the diagonal. In this version of the program I have set the range 
of delta x's and y's to be between -6 and +6. 

Notice the use of a C language DO loop. A DO loop is similar to 
a WHILE loop except that the body of the loop is executed at 
least once since the end-of-loop conditional is evaluated at the 
end of the loop rather than at its beginning. 

In natural language the intent of the loop is the following; 

Keep assigning random values while the last values chosen are 
no good. 

Notice that this is different from a WHILE loop which would be: 
Assign a first set of values; While the values assigned are no 
good, keep assigning new ones. 

Once I've gotten good placement and have initialized the 
variables affecting the dot's movement I call WritePixel to draw 
the dot using color register 1. Color register 1 will be used 
since I called SetAPen specifying that register. The newly 
drawn dot will not be visible at this time however because t 
specified that color register 1 should contain the same color as 
the background. 

Remember, you don't write colors into the display memory. You 
write color register numbers. 

Next I initialize the position and movement of the happy face by 
calling setjace passing it a pointer to the point structure used 
to look after the face. 

I chose a random x and y coordinate (or the upper left hand 
corner of the face in such a way as to ensure that no part of the 
face will extend off any edge of the screen. Rand(580) returns a 
number between and 579 to which I add 20 making a number 
between 20 and 599. Since the face width is 37(FACE_WIDTH) 
even if the random number is as large as it can be I still fit Inside 
640. The y coordinate is chosen similarly. 

The two starting coordinates are loaded into the x and y 
position fields of the point structure. They are loaded into the 
happy face gadget structure as well to become the position of 
the upper left hand corner of the invisible gadget's select box. 
And that's the secret to the moveable full-fledged Intuition 
gadget. 



70 



Volume 1, #8 



This works because the input.device intercepts the LMB event 
first. It passes the coordinates of the mouse down its chain of 
input. device. eventhandlers. When it gets to Intuition's entry in 
the list, Intuition simply compares the LeftEdge, TopEdge, 
Width, and Height of all your known gadgets to the current 
mouse position. If the mouse position is inside one of your 
gadgets, Intuition tells us which one. Thus I could happily 
change the LeftEdge and TopEdge and thereby move where 
Intuition thinks the gadget is. 

Next I set up a standard delta x and y. I didn't make this random 
since I wanted the happy face to move slowly enough to make it 
easy to hit with the LMB. 

Now I draw the happy face in its initial position by calling 
BItBitMap. This routine is similar to ClipBIt but does not handle 
clipping the source to the target so is a little faster. Notice the 
0x6OL this specifies the blitting operation should be exclusive- 
or. I have discussed ClipBit in a previous tutorial, and will go into 
it in more detail in next month's Miga-Mania. 

Returning to the zoom routine, the next thing I do is compute 
three random values specifying what final color color register 
zero should map to. 

Having set up the final values of red, green, and blue, I call 
ramp_up to slowly bring the value of color register one up to 
match the chosen values. Ramp_up and ramp_down are very 
simple and, as you would expect, quite similar. 

In ramp_up I loop through the possible values of each color 
component and load into color register one the smaller of the 
current loop value and the desired value. Thus if the final RGB 
value was 10,5,7 the values loaded into color register one by 
ramp_up would be: 



Itoration 


Rad 


Greon 


Blu 














X 


1 


1 


1 


2 


2 


2 


2 


3 


3 


3 


3 


4 


4 


4 


4 


5 


5 


4 


5 


6 


6 


4 


6 


7 


7 


4 


7 


8 


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4 


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9 


9 


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while ( — loops) { 

ratherthan: 

while (loops--) { 

or while (loops — >0) { 

It is interesting to note that the third of the three (basically) 
equivalent forms requires more c.p.u. cycles to execute. In 
Manx C, if I had placed loops into a register, the first form 
translates into: 

sub. v?#l, di 
tst , wd4 
beq.3 

While the second form translates into: 



Back in zoom, I'm ready to enter the outer zooming loop. This 
loop will be executed twice before we automatically return to 
main. I control the loop with the variable "style." If style is zero 
then we animate the dots over the screen. During the second 
time through the outer zoom loop style will be one causing the 
trails made by dots in their travels not to be erased. 

For style zero (erasing trails), I set loops to 3500. This choice is 
purely esthetic. Loops will count down towards zero terminating 
the middle zoom loop when zero is reached. Notice I coded; 



move . wd4 , d3 
sub . w# 1 , d4 
tat.wdS 
baq.5 

And the third into: 

move . wd4 , d3 
sub. w#l, d4 
c(np.w#0,d3 
beq.7 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 



71 



II r 



pi' 






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Let's look at the last two forms: 

Given that the move and sub statements are the same either 
way, let's lookclosely at tst compared with cmp. 





Instruction time 


Instruction time 




for operating 


for operating 




on a word 


on a long 


tst 


4 


4 


CTfip 


8 


14 



This means that as coded the cmp takes twice as long as the tst. 
If I had requested Manx to use all 32 bit integers or had put the 
loop counter in a long, the cmp would take 3.5 times as long. 
The reason for this is that cmp is a lot more powerful then tst. 

My purpose was to compare against zero. This is exactly what 
tst does, compare to zero. Cmp compares any two arbitrary 
values. By saying: 

while (loop — ) { 

We are testing against zero implicitly. While if (i( while) we say: 

while (loop — > 0) 

the compiler doesn't look ahead far enough to see that what's 
being tested against happens to be zero but rather goes ahead 
and generates the general case code. 



Why bring this up? Well, in a small loop the overhead in 
administrating the loop can sometimes dominate the cost of the 
loop. If the entire loop takes 20 clock cycles to execute and you 
execute it say 100,000 times, you can eliminate four clock 
cycles per loop and save 400,000 cycles! 

Now, look at the first form. I can eliminate the move instruction 
entirely by changing the order in which the decrement is done. 
If I post-decrement the compiler has to keep the old value 
around to compare against. However if I pre-decrement the 
subtraction and test against zero can be made against the same 
location. 

Whenever you post-decrement (or post-increment) you can 
probably change the code slightly to make it a pre-decrement 
(or pre-increment) saving an entire instructiion. Since the pre or 
post increment/decrement construct is often found in loops, 
the savings is multiplied substantially. 

Getting into the loop, the first thing 1 do is check to see if the 
IDCMP has a message for me. If so, the IF statement will 
evaluate to TRUE because the value returned friom GetMsg 
into message will be non-zero. 

If there is a message, I quickly save the message class for later 
use and reply to the message. Then executing the BREAK 
instruction, I exit the middle zoom loop returning to the outer 
zoom loop (where I will exit that as well). An IDCMP message 
can only mean the user wants to get back in the saddle. At the 
end oi the zoom routine I look at the saved value of the 
message class to see what to return to main. 

Given that there are no IDCMP messages waiting for me I get 
down to business. The pointer variable I will use to step through 
the array is set to either the first, second, third, or fourth 
element in the array. I do this because in any given loop I am 
going to move only one quarter oJ the dots. Why? Moving only 
25 percent of the dots in any given video frame slows the 
display down to a comfortable pace. I emphasize that this is not 
a hardware based restriction but ratheran esthetic decision. 

(This is similar to people commenting that the bouncing ball 
demo made the ball bounce so slowly. Was there something 
wrong with the machine? No. It was purposefully slowed down 
so that it would be fun to watch. But, of course, Atari said....but I 
digress.) 

Every eighth video frame I, want to change the color of the 
mousepointer slightly so (hat the mousepointer, while still 
being visible, does not itself burn the screen. 

Notice the way I avoided using the modulus ("%") operator in C. 
The modulus operator cannot be executed directly on the 
68000 and must be implemented in software. Since I want to 
take the modulo of a power of two I can achieve the desired 
result by logically anding with one less than the desired 
modulus. 

For example: ^ 

23 % 8 = 7 but 23 ia 10111 ±n binary 
so 10111 £ 111 = 111 or 7. 



72 



Volume 1, #8 



JerkjDointer selects one of the color registers reserved for 
sprite zero (the mouse pointer) and randomly changes it. 

Next I wail for the video beam to reach the bottom of the 
screen. After reaching the bottom of the screen there is a smalt 
amount of time (the verticle retrace time) in which I can do 
anything I want to the display without letting the user see any 
intermediate portion. 

A key issue when doing any kind of animation is synchronizing 
with the video beam. Changing the display memory while the 
video beam is loading pixels from the display memory being 
changed will produce a video frame which is partially the old 
scene and partially the new. The human eye can detect this sort 
of mistake very, very easily. 

Not being synchronized with the video beam while moving the 
dots around, however, won't be a problem since each dot is 
only one pixel, there's no way to screw things up. But. ..the 
happy face should definitely be drawn when I'm sure the video 
beam wool sweep over the disply memory being affected. 

Therefore I call WaitBOVP (Wail for Bottom Of View Port) to get 
me in sync with the video beam before I move the happy face. 

Move_dots given a as its first argument, will move the happy 
face, while passing a 1 as the first argument, tells move_dots 
that what we're moving this time around is a dot. 

Move_dots is passed the style value so that if what we are 
moving now is a dot we can decide if we want to keep or erase 
its trail. The third argument specifies a pointer to a "point" 
structure which defines how and where to move the object in 
question. In move__dots first I save the old x and y positions of 
the object. Then I offset the x and y positions by their 
respective deltas. If moving the object should cause them to 
move off screen, I undo the move and alter the sign oi the delta 
causing the object to move off the screen. This implements the 
bouncing off the sides of the screen effect. 

What defines the edge of the screen depends on if we are 
moving a dot or the happy face. If we're moving a dot then the 
edge of the screen in the x dimension is on the left and the 
screen width on the right. For y it is on the top and the screen 
heighten the bottom. 

If we are moving the happy face the right and bottom 
dimensions are decreased by the happy face width and height 
respectively. If we are moving a dot then erase the dot at its 
former position if style is not zero. In any event draw the dot at 
its new position. If we are moving the happy face then redraw 
the happy face at its previous position (causing its image to 
become erased, remember how Exclusive Or works?). Then 
draw the happy face at its new position. Also, remember to alter 
Intuition's idea of where the happy face gadget is located. 

Now it's time to move dots. As we step through this loop we 
advance the point structure pointer by four structures. 
Remember that the initial value of the point structure pointer 
cycles around each of the first four structures in the array. Thus, 
I've partitioned the array into four equal parts, one of which I will 
update for each video frame. 




t i 



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I fviflchine level mterlaco 

Bil-wise operators 

Direct port and Memory access 

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Intecrupt structure 



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OF REALS) 

• Type transfer funqtrons 

• Definable scope of object 



Pascal and Modula-2 source code are nearly identical Modula-2 shiould be thought of 
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Am^rga Modules 



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When the three loops have completed or the user has 
depressed the LMB we get to the ramp^down call. This call 
undoes the affect of ramp_up. We then set the entire display to 
color register zero thereby initializing itfor another go around. 

Now to decide what value to return to main. If message is NULL 
no message was received thus the user is still out to lunch. I 
return a zero which causes main to immediately re-enterzoom. 

If the user did depress the LMB (tliereby causing a message) 
the message can either be for a gadget down or not. If it's for a 
gadget down then report back to main with a special value 
signifying that main should close down the program. If the 
message was for any other reason pass back a one which 
causes main to go back to looking for idle times. 

That basically completes the discussion of the screen saver 
(which I call ssv for Screen SaVer). 

The way I implemented the idle period search, while being very 
simple, does have a major drawback. That is, the mouse has to 
be in motion or a key has to be in the act of being depressed 
when InputActivity checks otherwise the activity will be missed. 

I suggest that you start ssv from the dfO:s/startup-sequence 

file. Like so: 

run ssv 20; assumes ssv is in c: 

; will wait. 20 niinutes befora kicking in 



See you next month 



•AC* 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 



73 



linclud* <»x«c/t.yp«a . h> 
#includ« <iTituition/ intuition, h> 
flinclud* <graphic»/gfatba»«.h> 
#includ* <*x«c/iQamory . h> 
#includ* <*x«c/*Ji«cba«*.h> 



/* 



S c r • • n 



3 ■ V • r 



* Copyright (C) 1986 By Perry s. Kivolowitz 

* 
Th« author gx*nt« p«rmi»«ioii for th« non-coanin»rcial 
diatribution of thia software provided that thia 
and othar indantifying infoiroation ramaina intact. 

• 
Thia aoftwara !■ provldad ''aa-ia'' and carriaa 
with it no axplicit or implicit promi** of aupport 
by thft author. Kor will tha author be hald liable 
for any damaQaa, real or imagined, which caay 
reault from the uae or abuae o£ thia aoftware* 



* Thia program i« intandad to be RUN from the 

* atartup- Bequance. It occupy a small amount of 

* memory and coaaume vary few c.p.u. cycles. It will 

* attempt to detect aome number of eonaecutive 

* minute* in which you haven't done anything at the 

* keyboard or isoua«. 

* After aome minutea, acv will bring a dark acraan 

* to the front and do aome eye magic deaigned not 

* to hurt your monitor. From time to tine *ev will 

* bring your original acreen to tha front again juat 

* to remind you what ' a running. 
** 

* Clicking the left mouae button at any time 

* cauaea aav to delete ita acreen and go back to 

* waiting for inactivity. If you want Mmv to actually 

* EXIT - then click on the happy face which will 

* float around the acreen. 



*/ 



extern void *OpenLibrary ()i ; 
extern atruct Screen *0p«n,5cra«n () ; 
extern atruct Window *Op*nWindow () ; 
extern atruct IntuiMeaaage "GetMagOj 
extern atruct Task *FindTaak(); 

#defineRFPtratruct RaatPort * 

NdefineBMPtratruct BitKap * 

IdefinelBPtratruct IntuitionBaae * 

IdefineGBPtr struct GfxBaaa * 

|defineGMEM{MEMF_CKIP | MEKF_CLEAR) 

#defineNPTSlOO 

#deflneKAPFY FACE999 

t|deflneFACE_WIDTH37L 

HdefineFACE_H£IGHT21L 

riundef min 

t|d*finemin(a , b] ( (a) 

static char *Author 

static char *I Library 

static char ^CLibrary 

struct IntuitionBaae ' 

■tiruct Gf xBase *GfxBaaa; 

■truct Window *w «■ HULL, 

struct Screen *m » HULL, 

itruct Viewport *vp « HULL, 

struct RaatPort *rp ■• HULL, 

■tatic atruct BitMap flxn; 



< (b) ? (a) : (b)) 
^ 'Perry S. Kivolowiti" 
■ "intuition. library"; 
>■ "graphicB . library" ,' 
Intuit io nBase ; 



static int ciaepy_tiAe * 4 * 12; 

struct point ( 
long x; 
long y; 
long dx; 
long dy; 

); , . , 

«tr\]ct Gadg«t clofl*_g4dg«t « { 

BOLL ,0,0, rACZ_WIDTH , FACE_HEIGKT , CMKHHONi; | 
ttXDGIMXGE , GADCIMMEDIATI , BOOLGADCIT , HUli , HUlI, , NULL 
, NULL , HAPPy_rACE , HUM, 

1; 



■truct N«HScr««n ns *^ [ 

, , 640 , 200 , 1 , 

, HULL , HULL , NULL , KUXL 

); 



COSTOKSCREEN 



■truct NsuWlndow nw " { 

0,0, 640 , 200 ,0,0, MOUSEEOTTOMS | GADGETDOWN 1 
IHACTIVIWINDOM , NOCAREEE FRESH | ACTIVATE | BORDERLESS | 
BACKDROP ,Ccloae_gadgat , HULL , KULL , NULL , NULL , ,0 
0,0, CCSTCMSCREEN 

I; 



/* producad by 
unaignad ahort 
OlOOOf, OiffaO, 
0x0387, OlffOa, 
QxlSff.Oifffc, 
0x2fa3,0xfa3£, 
0x5 fbb, Oxfaef , 
OxSfff, Oidfff, 
0x2fbf,0iafaf, 
0xl9a3,0lfa3c, 
0x0387, OiffOa, 
OlOOOf, Oxff 80, 

); 



GI from a DPaint brush flla */ 

happy_faca[63] - ( 0x0000,0x0000,0x0000, 

0x0000, OxOOfB, OxOOfB, 0x0000, 

0x0000, OxOa7f, Oxff £3,0x8000, 

OxcOOO, 0x37ff, Oxff ff, 0x6000, 

OxaOOO, 0x6fdf .Oiffdf ,0xb000, 

OxdOOO, OxSfff, Oxdfff,0xd000, 

OxdOOO, 0x6fff, Oxafff.OxbOOO, 

OxaOOO, 0x37df, Oxffdf, 0x6000, 

OxcOOO, 0x0a7c. 0i01f3, 0x8000, 

0x0000, OxOOfS.OxOOf 8, 0x0000, 

0x0000, 0x0000,0x0000,0x0000 



main(argc , argr) 
char *argT[] ; 

( 

lot raault • 0; 

if (axgc > 1) Bloapy_tima - atoi (argv[l] ) • 12; 

if (aleepy Inline <>■ 0) alaepy ^ima = 6; 

Intuitionfiaaa = (IBPtr) OpanLibrary (ILibiaiy , OL) ; 

Gfxfiaaa - (GBFtr) OpanLibrary (GLibrary , OL) ; 

init_h»ppy_f aca ( ) ; 

if (IntuitlanBaaa It GfxBaaa) ( 

whila (laault t" HAPPY_FACE) ( 

wait f ox_inactivity () ; 

if (! (nw.Scraan ■ a ■ OpanScreen (Cna) ] | [ 

I {w ■ OpanWindow (Cnw) ) ) goto out; 
5hoHTit].a(a , OL) ,- 
aat^jpointara () ; 
aat_color_map () ; 
whila (1) ( 
ScraanToFront (a) ; 
if (raault « zoom()) braak; 
ScraanToBack (a) ; 
Dalay(300L),- 

) 

CloaaWindow (w) ; 

CloaaScraan^a) ; 

) 

) 

out:if (Gfxfiaaa) CloaaLibrary (GfxBasa) ; 

If (IntuitionBase) CloaeLibrary (IntuitionBaaa) ; 

) 

■et__pointera () 

(vp - Cw->HScreen->Vi«wFort.; 

zp ■« £a->RaatPort; 

I 

aat_color_map () 



SatRaB4 (7p 


01 , OL , OL 


OL) ; 


5atRGB4 (vp 


IL , OL , OL 


OL); 


SatRaat (rp 


OL); 




SatDrMd (rp 


COMPLEMZNX) ; 




SatAf an (xp 


IL) ; ^ 





) 

xooniO 

( 

unaignad long claaa; 

ragiatar atruct point *p; 

•truct point arraylNPIsj , f aca_poaition; 

ragiatar atruct point *and_point " (array [HPTS] ; 

long rad , graan , blua; 

int atyla , loopa; 

atruct XntulMaaaaga *maaaaga; 



a«t_dota (array) ; 
■•t_faca (tfaca_poaition) ; 
rad - rand (9) + 5; graan 
blua ■ rand (8) +5; 



rand (8) + 5; 



74 



Volume 1, #8 



r»iiip_up (r«d , ai;**n , blu«) ; 

for (»tyl« - 0; «tyl« < 2; »tyl«++) ( 

loop* - «tyl« —.0 7 3500 : 2500,- 

whil« ( — loopi) ( 

If (maiiig* - GatMig (w->tI««i:Port) ) { 

Class m in*ssag*->Class; 

Rspl^sg (oaissga) ; 

br*ak; 

) 

p ■ »rr«y + (loop* t 3) ; 

if ((loops i 7) — 0) j«rk_point«r (loops) ,- 

WaitBOVP (vp) ; 

aove_dots(0 , style , t£«c«i_posltion) ; 

whila (p < •nd_point) { 

!aov«_dots(l , style , p) ; 

p +- i; 

) 
) 

if (CMBsag*) braak; 

1 

ranp_down(r«d , gr««n , blue) ; 

SetlUst (rp , OL) ; 

if (message — HDIL) return (0),- 

cetum (class " GADCETDOHN ? KAPPy FACE : 1) ; 

} 



* If you are not using MAKX C or ara using a varsion 

* of MMfX which does not h*7* RangaRand (undocumantad 

* library call), simply raplaca this routine with one 

* that rat urns a random nunibar batwaan and X - 1. 



xmndCX) 

( 

long seconds , microaaconds; 

CurrantTine(£s*eonds , Cmicrosaconds) ; 

ratujni{(RangaIUnd( (short) (1 « 15)) + OiTFr £ microseconds) 

* X); 

) 

ramp_up<rad , graen , blue) 

ragistar long cad , graan , blua; 

I 

ragistar long i; 



for (i - 0; i < IS; i++) ( 

Delay (SL); 

SatRGB4(vp , IL , min (i, red) , 

min{i,blua)); 
) 
) 

ramp_down (red , green , blue) 
register cad , graan , blua; 



min(i,graan) 



Or 1 — ) ( 



[ 

ragistar long i; 

for (1 - IS; 1 >. 

Delay (SL) ; 

SetRC:B4 (vp , IL , min(i,cad) 

min (ij blue) ) ; 
) 
) 

Bat_fac« (p) 

ragistar struct point *p; 

t 



min (i, green) 



ra!id(5B0) + 20; 
rand (140) + 20; 



closa__gadget.I,«ftEdga - p->x 

cloae^gadget ,TopEdga ^ p'>y 

p->dx - 2; 

p->dy - 1; 

BltBltMap(tfba , OL , OL , w->RPort->BitMsp , p->x, 

p->y , FJICE_WIDTH , rAC£_HEIGHT , Ox60L , 

OxFFL , NDIl.) ; 
> 

*at_dots (array) 

struct point array[]; 

( 

raglBiiar atzruct. point *p; 

r*givtttr lonfj i; 




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Amazing Computing™ ©1986 75 



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for (i - , p = «rx«y; 1 < NPTS; i++ , p4+) ( 

do ) 

p->r - r»nd(620) + 10; 

p->y - r«nd(iaO) + 10; 

) whil« (R«»d?ix«l (rp , p->Jt , p->y) — 1) ; 

whil« {I (p->dx - r»nd(13) - 6)) ; 

vihll* (Mp->di' - r»nd(13) -6)) ; 

WritiPixal (rp , p->x , p->y) ; 

) 

> 

iiioir«_dot« (flag , ■tyl» , p) 
r«gi»t«r int flag , »tyl«; 
rftgiitar atruct point *p; 

1 

ragiatar long oldx , oldy; 



oldi - p->i; 

oidy - p-^y; 

p->i +- p->dji; 
p->y +" p->dy; 
if ((p->l >- (flag 

(p->x < 0)( ( 
p->x -" p->dx; 
p->dx " -p->djt; 

1 

if ( (p->y >- (flag 

(p->y < 0)) { 
p->y — p->dy; 
p->dy - -p->dy; 



? 640 : C40 - FACE WIDTH) ) I I 



? 200 : 200 - FACE HXICHT) ) || 



) 

if (flag) { 
if (atyla = 0) Wxlt«Plx»l (rp 
WritaPixal {rp 
) alaa ( 
BltBitKap{tftlil 
oldx , oldy 



oldx 



p->x , p->y) ; 



oldy) ; 



OL , OL , w->RPort->BitMap 
rACC WIDTH , FACE KEICHT , 



Ox£OL , Oxrrii , NUU.) ; 



BltBitMap(tfboi , OL , 01. . w->RPort->BitMap , 
p->x . p->y , rACE_VaDTH , FACE_HEIGHT , 
0x6 OL , OxFFL , NULL) ; 

cloflo_gadget .TopEdgo = p->y; 

cloaa gadgat -LeftEdgBM p->x; 

) 

) 

jark^ointer (countar) 
llit counter; 

regiatar long oolor_ragist«r — (countai- % 3) + 17; 
ragistar long rad , grsan . blua; 

red - rand(lO); grasn = rand (10) ; blua - rand(lO); 
SatRGB4 (vp , [:olor_reaistej: , rad , graen , blua); 
) 

init_happy_£»ca ( ) 

lnitBitMap(Sfbm , IL , FACE_JHIDTH , FACE_HEIGKT) ; 

£bm.Planaa[0] - (PLAKEETR) happy_faca; 

1 

long InputActivity 

ragiatar struct Task *p = FindTaak ("input. device") ; 
ngiatar long Eatum_valua •• 0; 

Forbid ; 

if (P) ( 

Eetum_valua « (long) * (p->tc_SPRag - 2); 

\ 

Pamit {) ; 

return (raturn_value) ; 

\ 

long TotalMamO 

( 

sagiatar unaignad long AvallHam(); 

ragiatar long availmam; 

Forbid 0; 

availmam — AvailMam (MEMF_FAST) ; 

availmam +- AvailMam (>{£MF_CHIP) ; 

Permit () ; 

return (availffiam) ; 

} 

ifait_f or_inactivity {) 



f 

regiater long •vailabla_mamory 
ragiatar long repetitions ■ . 
laat_input_action; 



, laat_availabl6_meinory; 
input_action , 



la»t_»vallable_namory = TotalMamO; 

laat_input_«etion = InputActivity () ; 

uhlle (repatitiona < Bl«apy_time) { 

Delay (SDL * 51.) ; 

avallabIa_naiBoiy - TotalMam(); 

input_actlon « InputActivity ; 

if ( (laat availabla_maniory <- available_mei!u>iy) || 

(laat input action t= input_action) ) 
(last available memory = availabl*_mamory; 
laat input action = input_aetion; 
repetition* * 0; 
) elae repetitiona'f+; 
\ 
} 



•AC- 



76 



Volume 1, #8 



We bring the AMIGA to life... 



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Amazing Computing™ ©1986 77 



Attention Amiga Owners 



You should know the SlcCe-EJJccts of owning your Amiga! 



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- optional 86 pin bus 
pass-through 

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resets/reboots 

Side-Track (Disk & Clock): 

- 20, 30, and up to 150 
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- Reed-Soloman error 
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The following apply to all items: 

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78 Volume 1, #8 



Amazing Reviews... 

LATTICE MAKE UTILITY 

'\.£i good MAKE utility can become one oftlie most important 
components of your computing aresenal." 

Reviewed by Scott P. Evernden 

People Link SCOTT E 

CompuServe 73 1 1 6,3451 



Sooner or later, you will find yourself working on a big project 
which requires many files. If you're a programmer, then you'll 
have the source and definition files for a program. A writer will 
deal with chapter, index, and table-of-contents files. Everyone 
has all the files they simply collect, print, catalog, backup and 
otherwise try to manage. 

With so many files to keep track of, you'll likely find yourself 
forgetting their relationships, and the steps required to 
construct new files from the old ones. You make a modification 
here; another edit there. Before you know it you've lost track of 
what's changed and what hasn't. In desperation, you re- 
compile, re-format, or re-archive everything in sight since that's 
the only way you can be sure everything's up to date. 

What you need, my friend, is a MAKE utility. What is a MAKE, 
you ask? Well, as its name implies, MAKE helps you to make 
things. It will help compile those programs that need compiling, 
it will generate new index entries for only those chapters most 
recently updated. And it'll backup and archive only those files 
which havent been archived or backed up. 

The original MAKE was born as part of the UNIX operating 
system during its formative years in the early 1970s at AT&T's 
Bell Labs. Stu Feldman created MAKE in order to maintain all 
the system software which together formed UNIX. To this day, 
MAKE is supplied as a part of the UNIX programming tools. It is 
used regularly by programmers, technical writers, system 
administrators, and just about anyone else using UNIX for any 
sizeable job. 

MAKE learns about how to rebuild files which need rebuilding 
by following a set of instructions which you provide. The 
instructions are contained in an input file, read by MAKE, and 
otherwise known as a "makefile". MAKE reads the "makefile" to 
learn how to make things. 

You'll need to understand a new language to talk to MAKE, but 
fear not because MAKE's makefile language is easy to learn. In 
its simplest form, you iell MAKE the name of a file (the 'target") 
which needs making, followed by a colon, and thef> a list of files 
(the "dependencies") which are needed to make the target". 
You say: this "target" is dependent upon these 
"dependencies". If I'm writing a User Guide for some new 



computer, its index will depend on all the chapters. The 
makefile for my project would contain a line: 

book.lndsx: chaptl chapt2 chapt3 

which tells MAKE that in order to make the target file 
"book. index" we need all the other dependency chapter files 
listed. 

This isn't yet enough information, since we also need to tell 
MAKE how to go about actually constructing the index. We do 
this by adding lines after the one above. These "action" 
makefile lines are always indented with a TAB character, and 
provide MAKE with the actual commands that need to be 
performed or executed in order to construct the target file. For 
our index example, we might add the following line. 

<TAB>genindex to hook. index \ 
from chaptl chapt2 chapt3 

Note that the backslash (continuation) character tells MAKE to 
continue reading on the next line in the file. 

A complete makefile will probably contain many such 
target/dependency and associated action lines. We might add 
other rules like: 

chaptl: chl.secl chl.6ec2 chl.secS 
<TAB>join Eocl Bec2 6ec3 to chaptl 

Most MAKE programs allow a "macro" facilty which allows you to 
provide a kind of shorthand for referring to files or actions. We 
could add a line near the beginning of our makefile; 

COMBINE = join 

and then rewrite the action given above as: 

<TAB>$ (COMBINE) chl.secl chl.sac2 \ 
<TAB> chl.sec3 as $6 

A $ (dollar sign) indicates a use of a macro, and in this last 
makefile line, we've shown how to instantiate the COMBINE 
macro with parentheses preceded by the $. This line also 
demonstrates the use of a built-in macro (the $@]. In this case. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 79 



this cryptic notatbn gets expanded into the target filename. 
MAKE programs provide a number o1 built-in default macros 
allowing replacement of certain dependency files, as well as 
parts of filenames. 

One advantage to using macros is that they provide a facility for 
replacing definitions when the MAKE program is run. You can 
invoke MAKE like: 

make COMBINE=myjoiner 

and have a different program name run to actually construct the 
book chapters. Another example (for programmers) might haVe 
makefile lines looking like: 



If we had instead invoked MAKE like this: 

make CC=cc CCFLAGS=-1 

then MAKE would execute the following command: 

CG -1 myeub 

TTiere is much more that could be written here about MAKE 
and flow to use this useful tool. We've only examined the 
basics here. Suffice it to say that, due to its power and 
flexibility, a good MAKE utility can quickly become one of the 
most important components of your computing arsenal. 



cc = Ic 

CCFLAGS = 

which defines macros indicating which particular C compiler to 
use in building programs within tfiis makefile (Lattice C in this 
case), as well as any flags which we want to pass to the 
compiler. Here, we've defined none. Later, if we want to switcfi 
to Aztec C, we simply invoke MAKE as: 

make CC=cc CCFLAGS=-1 

and the different compiler and flags are used. Then, if the 
makefile lias an action whicfi looks like: 

<TAB>$(CC) $ (CCFLAGS) mypgin . c 

we have complete capability to override the compiler and its 
flags. 

Most MAKE programs provide further capabilities to allow you 
to state in a concise way a generic set of actions to perform in 
order to "transform" one kind of file into another kind of file. For 
example, we could add lines to our programmer's makefile; 



• c.o: 

<TAB>S (CC) 



$ (CCFLAGS) $* 



This is a generic rule stating how to change (or transform) a file 
ending whose filename ends with a '.c' into a new file ending 
with a ".o". Later in the makefile, we need only indicate the 
target and its dependencies, and, if no actions are provided, 
MAKE will use this generic action. 

The "$*" default macro shown is another shorthand offered by 
MAKE, and will have the prefix of the dependency filename 
(the filename up to the extension) substituted for it whenever 
this action is invoked. 

So, we could state: 

myexib.o: my sub. c mysub.h 

meaning that the object file for mysub needs rebuilding if either 
the C source file, or the header files change. If no indented 
action lines followed, MAKE would refer to the generic 
transformation rule given above and then do the following: 



What's TOUCH? 

A TOUCH program is a useful adjunct to a MAKE program 
because it provides an easy way to change the date of last 
modification of a file. You simply say: 

TOUCH filename 

and the file's creation date will be set to the current time. This is 
sometimes useful if, for example, you simply want to record 
when MAKE last did something. One use might allow printing 
of only changed files. The makefile would have lines looking 
like: 

CH1_FILES = chl . seel chl.Bec2 chl.s©c3 
CH2_FILES = Gh2.Becl ch2 . sec2 
PRINTIT = copy to ptt : from 



print : $ (CH1_FILES) 
<TaB>S (PRINIIT) S? 
<TAB>touch print 



$ (CH2 FILES) 



This short example illustrates how to tell MAKE to print only 
those files which have changed since they were last printed. 
This is done by keeping around a dummy or flag file, here 
named "print", whose sole purpose is to maintain its own 
creation date. 

When MAKE tries to rebuild the target "print" file, it will take 
action only on those files which are younger than the file 
named "print". This is specified by yet another default macro 
(the $?) which gets replaced by a list of all the dependency files 
which are newer than the target file. 

The TOUCH action is the key one here, since it then causes 
the file named "print" to have an updated timestamp, set to the 
current system time. As a result, MAKE will no longer regard 
the freshly printed files as being newer than file "print", until any 
of those files gets aiodified. 

Lattice LMK and TOUCH 

Lattice supplies both its MAKE, named LMK, and a TOUCH 
program on a diskette along with several example makefiles 
taken from its documentation. A hardcover spiral bound book 
consisting of less than 50 pages of instructions complete the 
LMK package. 



Ic mysub 



go 



Volume 1, its 



LMK is a moderately capable MAKE program sporting many of 
the most desired features of a luH-blown MAKE utility. It lacks 
some of She more esoteric functionality usually found in the 
UNIX versions, in the course of using LMK and TOUCH for the 
past several weeks fpr my own work, I have noted a number of 
deficiencies and problems which make LMK a less than perfect 
tool. 

The first thing I saw when reading the LMK manual was that one 
of the example makefiles listed included a flag to the compiler 
(the LC Lattice compiler, of course) which I recognized as being 
valid only for the MS-DOS Lanice compiler, and not 
Lattice/Amiga C. 

The TOUCH program is not documented at all in the manual; 
you discover later that the TOUCH instructions are in a short file 
on the diskette. 

In general, however, the thin manual Is acceptably well written, 
and leads the reader from simpler to more complicated MAKE 
concepts. An 8 page Reference Manual is included in the 
instruction book as a concise synopsis of how to use LMK. 

Upon examining the LMK diskette for the first time, I noted that 
it was only 12% full. I don't know about you, but for the $125 
cost of LMK, I expected a disk FULL of programs. Perhaps 
many useful makefiles could have been included for different 
kinds of work and compilers. A script file "loadlmk" is included 
to copy LMK and TOUCH to your C: (commands) directory. 

Problem is, these program files are BIG! TOUGH is about 19K 
and LMK tips the scales at over 48K. I don't have 67K (133 
blocks) ol spare space on ANY of my SYS: disks, and 
particularly not the one I use for C programming; maybe you do. 

For me, LMK and TOUCH joined the other programs I must 
keep on every working disk I use. The large program size of 
LMK is of concern. Since LMK remains in memory while it does 
its work, a fairly sizeable chunk of precious memory is 
consumed. This memory is therefore not available to do other 
things. 

After making a working copy of the disk, ! tried LMK on the 
included example demo program. On the evaluation diskette I 
received, this demo proved to be an extremely uninspired 
program which simply printed out some lines of text. 

You will soon discover, as I did, that LMK is plagued by a 
problem I have witnessed in other programs compiled with 
Lattice/Amiga C; it sometimes doesn't do anything. . The 
program loads, prints an initial copyright message, and then 
exits. The program thinks you have typed a CONTROL-C to 
stop processing. 

When this happens (and it happens a lot!) you have to run LMK 
a second time to get it to "lake hold". While using LMK over the 
last weeks, this one problem alone has caused me much 
aggravation, since I must actually sit in front of my Amiga to 
make sure that LMK actually starts running. If I didn't, then I 
might be lead to believe that LMK decided everything was up- 
to-date and did no work. 



The Memory Location 




- AMIGA OMNERS - 

IMAGINE A STORE BUli_T AROUND THE AMIGA I 
IT'S HERE NOW ! 
THE MEMORY LOCATION 
:S'?6i WASHINGTON STREET <RT,16) 
WEL l_E SLE Y , MA 02181 
(b 1 7 - 237 - JbQ4a> 
JUST A FEW DOORS UP FROM THE PLAYHOUSE 
FEATURING THE LATEST AND THE GREATEST FOR AMIGA 
WHAT DO WE HAVE? 
FINANCIAL PLUS INFO BASE LATTICE C ZQRK I 
DELUXE PAINT MASTERTYPE MDUSTERPIECE PAL 
FINANCIAL COOKBOOK BRATTACUS HACKER FOURTH 
SEVEN CITIES OF GOLD ONE ON ONE MARAUDER 
TALKING COLORING BOOK ANALYZE! TEXTCRAFT 
AEGIS ANIMATOR ZORK II AEGIS IMAGES LISP 
MONKSY BUSINESS FORTRAN 77 SPELLBREAKER 
AZTEC C SCRIBBLE ZORK III DIGITAL LINK 
RACTQR ARCHON GISMDZ CUSTOM PRINT DRIVERS 
AniGA DOS MANUAL (BANTAM) KID TALK BBS-PC 
TYCHDN UTILITIES PAK-A-DISK MOUSE MATS 
ON-LINE AMIGA HANDBOOK (SUNSHINE) FLOW 
MQUSTERPIECE HALLEY'S PROJECT PASCAL 
GRAPHICRAFT UBZ FOURTH ARCTIC FOX A-TIME 
PAR-HOME CABLES MINDSHADQW MUSIC STUDIO 
BORROWED TIME DISCOVERY SPELLCRAFT TxED 
TALKING TRIVIA DIG I -VIEW META-PASCAL 
MODULA II DEVELOPERS + CDMMER. SPELLER BEE 
ELEMENTARY AHIGA BASIC BOOK INFOMINDER 
BEGINNERS GUIDE TO AMIGA WRITE HAND 
AMIGA CROSS DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT FOR IBM 
MIND FOREVER VOYAGING BUSINESS STATISTICS 
TYPING TUTOR •■ WORD INVADERS WRITE HAND 
AVETEX 1200 MODEM EXPERIMENTAL STATISTICS 
MIAMIGA SALES FDRCASTINQ VIP PRO. MIRROR 
PENMOUSE H- SERIES ONE TABLETS MAXIPLAN 
ONE MEG RAM EXPANDER INFOMINDER FISHDISKS 
AMICUS DISKS DYNAMIC-CAD GOLDEN HAWK MIDI 
MIMETICS SOFTWARE, MIDI .DIGITIZER DISCOVERY 
GOLDEN OLDIES MODEMS OKIMATE 20 PRINTER 
AMAZING C OMPUTING AMIGA WORLD TRANSACTOR 
CANON COLOR INK JET AND DRIVER JUMPSTART 
SOFTWARE RENTAL CLUB CONSIGNMENT SALES 

AND MORE ! ! I 
f^ BETTER QUESTION WOULD BE 

"WHAT DON'T WE HAVE?" 
ONLY WHAT WORKS, SATISFACTION GUARANTEED 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 81 



Beyond this problem, LMK is also frustrating in its use of 
transformation rules (then ".c.o" target example above). You 
must explicitly indicate the target in the makefile to get the 
transformation action to run. 

In a more full-featured MAKE utility, the program is usually smart 
enough to look in the current directory for dependencies 
needed to build the targets of transformations. 

In other words, if a ".o" file is needed (for an ALINK step, for 
example), then a good MAKE program will automatically look for 
the corresponding ".c" file in the current directory, and then 
perform the transformation actions. LMK needs more explicit 
directions. 

Due to problems in AmigaDOS, LMK is unable to detect when 
an action it has invoked has failed for some reason (a missing 
file; a compile error). This ability is critically important to getting 
the best use of a MAKE program, since you generally want 
MAKE to stop running upon encountering errors. 

instead, LMK forges onward performing each of the rules in 
makefile, constructing target files based upon possibly out-of- 
date files. I always had to pay close attention to make sure that 
if errors occured, I could CONTROL-C out of LMK. It is possible 
to avoid this problem, by adding rules to explicitly delete target 
files before thay are remade, but this forms a poor solution. 

Another problem occurs whenever you try to specily a target 
whose filename includes a colon. For example, an LMK 
makefile with alarget/dependency line like: 

dfl : object /output -o : output. c header. h 

always caused LMK to complain of makefile syntax errors since, 
due to the ':' (colon) character, it sees this line as having 
something named "dfl" as aiarget. 

This is a generic problem in the syntax of the makefile language 
when combined with AmigaDOS device naming conventions, 
and needs specific treatment in the AmigaDOS environment. I 
could neither locate instructions in the manual, or fabricate 
solutions to get around this problem. I repeatedly wished 
Lattice had accounted for this problem in some way. 

LMK appears to slowly consume memory as it is used. I 
suspect that a known bug in the the current implementation of 
the AmigaDOS Execute() function is the culprit here, and not 
Lattice. 

The TOUCH program supplied as part of the LMK package 
exhibits more problems. 1 tried using TOUCH in my makefiles to 
update the timestamp of a file named "Now" on the SYS: disk. 
This, I thought, would ensure that the system time after any re- 
boots would become updated when the SYS: disk is validated. 

It never worked; my system time at next re-boot was always 
invalid. DATE would responded with "<invalid> <invalid> 
<invafid>". Furthermore, the file "SYS:Now" would NOT appear 
when I LISTed the SYS: directory, but it did show up in a DIR 
listing. Peculiar? 



TOUCH also has a problem in locating files with certain 
filenames. I had a file named "rayhit.c" which TOUCH simply 
refused to believe existed. Repeated attempts to: 

touch rayhit . c 

always yielded; 

Can't find fil6(s>; rayhit.c 

even though file "rayhit.c" plainly appeared when LISTed. 
Other invisible filenames are easy to trip over; files named 
"scott.ev" and "buggy-touch", for example, also can't be 
touched witfi this TOUCH. There is clearly some sort of 
problem in the way Lattice TOUCH traverses directory 
structures. 

Conclusions 

Despite the many annoying problems I had with LMK and 
TOUCH, I did find that, with care, they could be usefully applied 
in many day-to-day activities on my Amiga. 

LMK does support all of the most common MAKE capabilities 
including comments, the .DEFAULT rule, grouped 
dependencies, echo suppression, command line macro 
substitution, and the unconditional (-u), silent (-s), and no-build 
(-n) options. The ignore-errors flag (-1) is provided, but it 
doesn't work, as explained above. A nice idea is the help (-h) 
option which lists all the other LMK command line option as a 
handy reference. 

LMK does seem to do a good job of recognizing circular 
dependencies (file "A" depends on file "B" which depends on 
file "A"). As with the UNIX versions of MAKE, LMK also 
provides the debug (-d) option, which produces an immense 
amount of debugging output on LMK's progress which I 
personally find quite useless. 

A facility called "local input files" is unique to LMK, and provides 
a mechanism for supplying input files to a program as specially 
quoted inline text in the makefile. LMK can be run from the 
Workbench (an icon file "Imk.info" is provided), however, I can't 
quite figure the usefulness of such a capability (perhaps as an 
archive/backup facility?). I do question the rather high price tag 
on this package. At a list price of $125, LMK comes close to 
the price of the Lattice/Amiga C compiler at $150, but does not, 
in my estimation, provide a "bang-for-the-buck" ratio I feel 
comfortable with. 

If you should decide that you need a MAKE program, then you 
would be well advised to do some careful shopping. You 
should make -sure that some of the problems which I have 
observed using Lattice's LMK either don't exist, or wont bother 
you. 

Lattice Make Utility, version 1.00B, $125 

Lattice, Inc. 
P.O. Box 3072 
22W600 Buttertield Road 
Glen Eilyn.lL 60137 

•AC- 



82 



Volume 1, #8 



The AMICUS Network 



New AMICUS & Fred Fish 
Public Domain Disks and more,,. 



ByJohnFoust 

Sometimes the universe plays triers on you. 

Telecommunications is a frequent topic of this column. There 
is a reason for this. ! spend a lot of time online to networks. 
Most of the programs in the AMICUS collection pass through 
my modem. All of my Amazing Computing work is sent via 
modem to PiM Publications, Inc. 

While preparing the last issue, I sent several stories to PiM 
through a different service than I usually do. My normal 
method o( sending stories failed; each message was 
unreadable by the addressee, and the network was acting 
strangely. 

On another computer service, I sent the stories to the ID I 
thought was PiM Publications, Inc. When it became apparent 
they never arrived, I double checked the ID. The ID was 
wrong. This is the equivalent of having a wrong address on an 
envelope. The computer, stupid as it is, delivered the stories 
to the wrong person without question. I wrote a letter of 
apology to this anonymous ID, and asked them to delete the 
files. 

A week or so later, I got a reply from this user. Chance would 
dictate that this 'wrong number' was an unused user ID, or 
someone who would lake no interest in these yet unpublished 
Amazing Computing articles. Instead, this ID belonged to the 
Amiga editor of another Commodore magazine. He laughed at 
the mix-up. We exchanged gossip and a copy of our 
respective magazines. 



Disk speedup 

If you ordered an AMICUS disk recently, perhaps you noticed 
that the icons pop up a lot faster that you'd expect. The disks 
were recopied under Workbench version 1.2.. Commodore- 
Amiga has improved the algorithm for storing files on disk, and 
it is backward compatible with 1.1. If you have a beta copy of 
Workbench 1.2, you might want to format a new disk, and then 
do a 'copy dfO: dfl: all' command in the CLI, from the old disk 
to the blank disk. It takes a while, but the results are worth the 
time and effort. 



AMlCUS#11bugfix 

Las) month, words were omitted from my description of the 

picture conversion utilities on this disk. There are four 



programs here that read Commodore 64 picture files. They can 
translate Koala Pad, Doodle, Print Shop and News Room 
graphics to IFF format. Of course, getting the files from your C- 
6410 your Amiga is the hard part. 

AMICUS #12 

In the first AMICUS column, 1 said we might expect some high- 
powered public domain software, including compilers and 
assemblers. I forgot to mention linkers, the program that glues 
togetherthe output of an assembler or compiler. 

A group of Amiga programmers called the Software Distillery 
have produced a public domain linker, fully compatible with the 
standard 'Alink' linker from MetaComco. They call it "Blink", 
and it can be found on disk 12. It is about 25 percent faster 
than "Alink'. Documentation is included. Future versions will 
include overlay support, and they think they can make it even 
faster. They also included the "faster' option supported by 
'alink', just for compatibility's sake. 

Another super program from the Distillery is PopCLI. In the 

startup sequence file on your Workbench, 'RUN' the PopCLl 
program. Then, like the popular SideKick program, press 
Amiga-ESC at any time, and a new CLI window will appear on 
the screen. PopCLI also has a screen-blanking feature that 
will change the screen color to black after a given time of non- 
activity at the keyboard, to save the phosphors in your 
monitor. To restore the screen, press any key, such as shift. 
The C and assembler source code is included (or PopCLI. 

MenuEd is a C programmer's development tool. It lets you 
create a series of menus for a program, using a simple menu- 
driven interface. You can add items to each menu, and then 
save the whole design as a series of C structure declarations, 
ready to compile into your program. This shareware program 
comes from David Pehrson at Mantis Development. 

The other C source code here includes an example of using 
VSprites, the Amiga virtual sprites, and 'spin3d', an animated 
demo with dozens of rotating cubes. 

The executable programs include "clean', a disk cleaning 
program. It spins the disk for a given number of seconds, so 
you can use a disk cleaning disk according to the instructions. 

The "epsonsef program presents a screenful of all the text 
modes available on an Epson printer. Click on "condensed', 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 83 




THE EXPLORER 

A tool to match your curiosfty! 

Would you like...to scout the inner workings 
of your Anniga? ...a live window onto memory 
to watch what other tasks are doing? ...an 
on-iine memory map to tell you where you are? 
...to actually see the assembly language code, 
in human readable form, that exists inside your 
Amiga? ...to step through a piece of code to 
see what it does? ...to capture your own 
source code and customize it? 

The EXPLORER has some powerful fea- 
tures that make it a superb extension of your 
curiosity. Features: display memory and files 
in Hex and ASCII, memory modify, search, 
move, fill, display and change registers, 
disassembly trace, load programs, disassem- 
ble to disk. Output to printer or disk file. 
Powerful commands: loops, text display, real- 
time RAM view. & more! The EXPLORER puts 
your sense of wonder in charge! 

The EXPLORER can be used for serious 
program development too! As a debug tool the 
EXPLORER'S command set is compact and 
efficient. You can execute your commands 
within loops, creating live displays of RAM or 
registers while you test your program. You 
control the display format too, and even display 
informative messages. (Mo need to waste 
valuable time typing that patch into memory 
every time you debug. Simply write a new 
command to do it for you. After all, what are 
computers for? When you want to save the 
contents of RAM or a series of trace steps 
for future examination, just send them to the 
printer, or better yet, send them to a disk file! 
PRICE: $49.35 plus $3 shipping and handling. 

C0[? add $4. Visa/MC orders call tB12) 
871-6283. Money orders or checks to: 

Interactive Analytic Node 

2345 West Medicine Lake Drive 

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55441 



and the proper escape code is sent to the printer, through the 
'PAR:' port. 

The 'showbig' program vj\\\ display a high resolution picture as a 
low resolution screen. Insert a joystick in the back mouse 
port, and you can scroll over the entire picture. 

'speaklime' will speak the current time, either from a click on 
the Workbench icon, orfrom the CLI. 

'undelete' is a CLI command to undelete a file. However, you 
must be able to remember the former file's name to use this. 

Three picture converting programs will translate Apple ][ 
pictures to IFF format. The three will handle low, medium and 
high resolution Apple pictures. 

Dave Devenport, of Copperstate Business Systems in 
Arizona, wrote two disk copying programs that work faster 
than 'diskcopy'. One, called 'quickV, copies a disk in record 
time, but 'quickEA', the second copier, will copy the latest 
Electronic Arts games, and remove the copy protection 
forever. 

The documents on AMICUS 12 include a list of Amiga software 
and hardware vendors, compiled by Amazing Computing musk: 
editor Richard Rae. 

Also present is instructions for fixing the early Cardco memory 
expansions. The first 150 boards have an extra wait state in 
the memory, which means they run slightly slower than they 
should. This text explains which traces to cut and jumpers to 
set to remove the wait state. 

A cross-reference to the Amiga C 'include' files shows which 
'include'files include other 'include' files, in chart form. 

Another text explains the format of the scripts for the 
SlideShow program that produced the demo on the Electronic 
Arts KalekJoscope disk, supplied with every Amiga. 

This disk has a list of tips for playing the game 'MindWalker'. 

Three beautiful high resolution pictures are included, along 
with the SeelLBM program. These can be displayed from the 
Workbench, at the click of an icon, without a paint program. 
One is a three-dimensional Mandelbrot picture, another is a 
robotic arm grasping a cylinder, and the third is a picture of a 
star-destroyer class starship from the Star Wars movies. 

This disk has Ewan Grantham's Amiga bulletin board system, 
written in'Amiga Basic, as I promised in a column long ago. 

A demo of TxED 1.3, the text editor, is on AMICUS 12. This 
demo does not load or print, but it shows a tightly coded user 
interface. This program is written by Charlie Heath. 

The 'start 0' program makes moving star fields, similar to those 
in the opening sequence of Star Trek. The assembly language 
source is included. 



84 



Volume I, #8 



AMICUS13 

This disk has several examples of using libraries from Amiga 
Basic. 

The first is Carolyn Scheppner's library examples for 
displaying IFF pictures. Scheppner is a member of the 
technical support team at Commodore West Chester. Her 
method uses a new IFF picture type more suited to Basic's 
style of displaying graphics. A program converts standard IFF 
pictures to this format, and another example displays the new 
picture. An example of a screen printer from Amiga Basic 
rounds out the Scheppner examples. 

Also present is my FutureSound library example to interface 
IFF sounds to Amiga Basic. FutureSound is a sound digitizer 
from Applied Visions. I do not have any stake in the company. 
However, I wrote the library for Applied Visions after I read a 
plea from Dan Lovy on CompuServe. Lovy is an employee of 
Applied Visions. Their shipping deadline was rapidly 
approaching, and they needed this software interface done 
quickly. At that time, I was researching the technique, as a 
fiopeful topicfor a future column. 

The assembly language source to a library is included, based 
on an example from Commodore-Amiga. The C source to the 
functions lo load and play IFF sounds is here, too. The library 
code shows the proper interface from assembler to C, as 
discussed in Gerry Hull's C tutorial from last month. 

For astronomy enthusiasts, there is a version of the 'gravity' 
program from Scientific American, January 1986. This program 
simulates the motion of two bodies revolving around a third, 
larger body. It draws this relationship on the screen, in color. 
Several example data sets are provided. 

AMICUS 13 has complete instructions for making your own 
MIDI interface. For more information about MIDI, read Richard 
Rae's Amiga Notes columns here in Amazing Computing. 
'MIDI' stands for 'Musical Instrument Digital Interface". It is 
the present standard for interconnecting synthesizers and 
computers. 

1 must apologize for announcing AMICUS 11,12 and 1 3. I had 
not finished preparing them when I wrote my column two 
months ago, and many orders for AMICUS disks were held up, 
until I sent the master disks to Don Hicks. If your order look a 
long time, blame me, not PiM Publications. I can say I will have 
several more AMICUS disks lo describe in the next column. I 
will say nothing more, to keep myself out of trouble. 

User Group Newsletters 

I appreciate the user group newsletters that some user groups 
have sent. A user group newsletter is a lot of work. Some of 
them look more like magazines, in terms of layout and articte 
content. 

The names of newsletters and user groups demonstrate the 
'creative edge' typical of Amiga users: the Amiga Guru, from 
the CA-AUG group in Ohio, has a column called the Bit Bucket; 
there is a Space Coast Amiga User Group in Florida; and a 
newsletter called Gadget from the Causer group in South 
Carolina. 



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Amazing Computing™ ©1986 85 



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I have been in touch with Georgb Cupertino, an Amiga 
developer in Monaco. He produces the Cupertino Newsletter 
for developers in France and Monaco. It is written in 
"franglish", a blend of French and English. 

Beyond France and Monaco, the magazine has heard from 
Amiga users in New Zealand, West Germany, Puerto Rico and 
Japan, 

New Fred Fish Disks 

Close to press time, I found the listing of the contents of the 
newest Fred Fish disks, numbers 31 through 35. 1 dont have 
them in hand, but 1 can describe some of the programs on the 
new disks. 

Fred Fish Disk 31 

This disk has a version of the game of life', not the plastic car 
and kiddies version, but the cellular automata simulation. This 
version is very fast, since it uses the smarts of the Amiga 
blitter chip to calculate the next generation of the cells in the 
universe. It can calculate over 19.8 generations a second, in 
3 318x183 universe. 

This disk has version 3.0 of the Robert French and RJ Mical 
Mandelbrot program. I know, yet another Mandelbrot program. 

There is a replacement for the Manx 'set' command, with 

improvements. This program lets you set 'environment 

variables', a method of setting the default parameters of 
cooperative CLl-based programs. 



Tree' draws a recursive tree, not the directory-tree type, but 
the green type. This disk has the crippled demo of 'TxEd', 
described above, 'Xicon' is a program to execute AmigaDOS 
scripts from an icon, and 'Ticon' will view a text file from an 
icon. There is an example of a mutual-exclusion gadget, and a 
program to measure the relative performance of CHIP and 
FAST memory. 

'VDraw' is a full-featured drawing program by Stephen 
Vermeulan, based on the original FreeDraw program from the 
early AMICUS disks, 'FreeDraw' was written by Rick Ross, as 
a learning toy, before he wrote Marauder, Grabbit. and 
Exactly!, at Discovery Software. 

Fred Fish Disk 32 

This disk has three Amiga Basic programs, an extensive 
address book, and a calendar program, and the Sword of 
Fallen Angel, a text adventure. Another David Addison ABasic 
game. Solitaire, is here. 

This disk has the Dos Plus series of shareware CLI utilities 
from Bill Beogelein, !t comes in two volumes. The first has a 
simple calculator which adds, subtracts, multiplies and divides 
pairs of numbers, utilities for converting between ASCII 
characters and their value, a binary, decimal octal and hex 
converter program, a 'wc' type program to count the number of 
words in a text file, and a CL! help program. 

Volume 2 has 'col', a program to set 60 or 80 column screens, 
without Preferences, a program to reset Preferences to the 
last saved settings, or the default Preferences; 'lock and 
'unlock', to set the protection bits on a file, to prevent it from 
being deleted, a program to strip binary from files, so they can 
be read with the 'ed' editor; a timer that counts time in minutes 
and dollars, for use on pay networks or long-distance phone 
calls, and a printer configuration tool to set-up any printer. 
Also included is a simple sliding square puzzle game. 

This disk has the 'MacView' program described below. This 
disk doesn't have the example Mac pictures, only the 
executable. There is a 'ShowHam' program to view HAM mode 
pictures from the CLI. 

The 'spin3' and 'trails' programs are here. These are the same 
programs as on AMICUS 1 1 and 12, described last month, 

Fred Fish Disk 33 

'Bigmap' is a low-level graphics example, which scrolls a large 

bitmap with the ScrollVPort() function. There is another C 

example of double buffered animation, using BOBs and 

VSprites. 

'DiskMapper* is a program to view which sectors (blocks) on a 
disk are currently filled with data. You might use this to aid in 
recovering trashed disks, or for use with the Tracker program, 
to learn which sectors of a disk are used. 

Leo Schwab, who also goes by the anagram handle 'Bols 
Ewhac', wrote two very interesting programs on this disk. He 
wrote Oing!', an extension of the Boing! program. This version 
has nine or so small boing-style checkered balls that bounce in 
front of your CLI or Workbench screen. 



86 



Volume 1, its 



He also wrote 'memview', a program to view the memory of your 
Amiga, moving ttirough memory under control of a joystick in 
the rear mouse port. 

'Sproing' is another version of this program, with sound added, 
so nine balls are bouncing, and each boings as it hits a screen 

edge. 

(AMICUS 14 will have these programs, plus 'Zoing', an 
extension of Oing! that obeys real-world physical laws of 
conservation of momentum. One ball is under control of the 
mouse, and you can use it to knock the other balls around. It 
is an intellectual air-hockey game, if you will.) 

'ScreenDump' dumps the highest screen or window to the 
printer, in C, with source code provided. 'Sdb' is a simple 
database program from a DECUS tape, 'stars' is a star field 
graphics demo, like the opening sequence of Star Trek. Also 
included is a 3D version of this same program, for those of you 
wKh an extra set of 3D colored glasses. 

'TermPlus' is yet another terminal program with file capture and 
send, a dialing library, programmable function keys, Xmodem, 
and the Compuserve-B file transfer protocols. 'VtlOO', version 
2.0 by Dave Wecker, is a very close emulation of the standard 
VT-1 00 terminal. It has Kermit and Xmodem file protocols, and 
scripts for automatic logons, and programmable function keys. 

Fred Fish Disk 34 

This disk has files for using Gimpel's Alint C program syntax 
checker, and 'blink', described above. 'browser' is an 
improved version of the program on Fish disk 18, converted to 
ManxC. 

This disk has 28 new fonts for the Amiga, from Bill Fischer, in 
several sizes and styles, most larger and more informal than 
the standard Amiga set. 

'Pr' is a background print utility, with options for setting printer 
style. You can use wildcards to specify which files to print. 
There are two versions of generic b-tree database examples 
here. 

'Calendar' is an appointment calendar, with alarm, 'less' is a 
pun on the Unix 'more' program, a program (o view a text file. 
You can search the file for given text, or position within the file, 
at a given percent, or by line number. 

There is an example file requester, in the style of the Deluxe 
Paint requester. It comes with a source code example, 

Fred Fish Disk 35 

This disk has several C examples written by Commodore- 
Amiga employees. One demonstrates making asynchronous 
I/O calls to a DOS handler; another shows the way to get an 
Intuition pointer to a CON: or RAW: window under 1.2; another 
is a dual playfield example, which shows a 400 x 300 x 2 bit 
plane playfield on a 320 x 200 x 2 plane deep playfield; another 
is a set of general purpose subroutines for sending AmigaDOS 
packets. 

ft has two versions of DirUtil. This program presents an 
Intuition gadget-oriented view of the files on a disk. You can 



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delete and rename files, change subdirectories, all w^ith the 
mouse, and very little typing. 

It has an object file version of Charlie Heath's well-known file 
requester, for Lattice C. Heath's file requesters in the TxED 
editor are fast and easy to use. They don't make you wait to 
load a file from a requester. The filenames are shown as soon 
as the requester appears, and you can click on one 
immediately, and proceed with the program, without waiting. 

There is a program to view Macintosh pictures in low or high 
resolution, by Scott Everndon. With a screen-saving program 
such as SavelLBM, you can transfer Mac pictures to IFF 
format. 

'Plop' is a simple IFF reader program. Tsize' will print the total 
size of all files in a given subdirectory. This Fish disk has 
'PopCLI', described above, plus three Devenport disk copiers, 
including one that isn't on the AMICUS disks. Sorry, I must 
have missed it. 

It has 'SpriteMaker', Ray Larson's shareware sprite editor. 
This can save the sprite as C data structures, for use in C 
programs. 

'Tracker', by Brad "Lord Bradford" Wilson, will read a given set 
of tracks from a disk, and convert the data to a single file. In 
this way, a disk can be broken into several files, ARCed to 
smaller sizes, and transmitted via modem. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 87 



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The Amiga l-landbook includes: 

Description of the System 
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Discussion — intuition: Basis of 
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On the receiving end, the files can be re-constructed to an 
exact copy of all the files and data on the disk, including file 
names, date, and subdirectory structure. Since it reads 
absolute tracks, even a Kickstart disk can be sent via modem. 
Some people were using this to send version 1.2 of the 
operating system to their friends across town. 

This disk has a tremendous shareware game called 'TriClops'. 
It was to be a commercial product, but the authors, Geodesic 
Productions, decided to give version 1 away, and sell version 
2. 

Simply put, it is a 3-D space invasion game, it uses fractal 
geometry to create plane! surfaces and surface objects. 
Future versions of the program will allow user editing and 
saving of the planet characteristics, such as building designs, 
and even let players exchange objects, using a standard 
database format. It will have a two-player mode, where you 
can play via modem. 

It is semi-real-time graphics, with filled polygons. The colors 
are cartoonish, but it looks like a lot of fun. 

The obscure programs on this disk include 'Unlfdef, a C 
preprocessor to remove given #ifdef'd sections of a file, 
leaving the rest alone, and a VT-100 emulation test program. 
This requires a Unix system, and it verifies the VT-100 
compatibility of a terminal or terminal emulator. 

Developer Conference 

The second Amiga Developer Conference was cancelled, see 
the Roomers column for more information. I had hoped to 
present the loot from the conference in my next column, but it 
will have to wait until the Decemberor January issues. 

In the next column, I might have goodies from the West Coast 
Commodore Association show in Los Angeles, either programs 
or articles and pictures. 

I hope to interview more Amiga people at the show, in the style 
of the RJ Mical interview in a past issue of Amazing 
Computing. Of course, the developer conference should 
present many interview opportunities, too. 

This might include third-party Amiga developers, instead of 
Commodore-Amiga employees, past or present. I enjoy 
interviews for several reasons, even though the transcription 
from tape is such a tedious process. An interview gives 
insight into the thought processes of the people who helped 
shape the Amiga. 

•AC. 



A Tale of 
Three EMACS 



... an editor is expected to fit one*s style 
as a carpenter's favorite hammer fits his hand. 



By Steve Poling 

People Link SPOLING 

Why bottler with Emacs? What is Emacs and where did it come 
from? I will answer these questions in this article and then 
proceed to compare three public domain versions of Emacs- 
like editors available for the Amiga. 

Many of us spend a lot of time editing files. As a result, an 
editor is expected to fit one's style as a carpenter's favorite 
hammer fits his hand. 

Unfortunately, ED and EDIT, the editors provided with the 
Amiga, are not all one wants in an editor. Each of the EMACS- 
Itke editors reviewed here are better than ED and EDIT. I 
recommend replacing the ED and EDIT with one of the public 
domain editors described here. 

Where did EMACS come from? Richard Stallman at MIT wrote 
the first EMACS. His editor has been widely copied since then. 

Gossling at Carnegy Mellon University wrote another version of 
EMACS that runs under Unix, and has been adapted to run on 
other machines. That version of EMACS is sold by UniPress 
software. 

A few years back, an effort arose to write a subset of EMACS for 
the IBM PC. It was called MicroEMACS, and placed into the 
public domain. MicroEMACS is the direct ancestor of all the 
EMACS-like editors I will describe here. 

Another development that warrants watching is the Free 
Software Foundation and its GNU project. The man who 
started all this stuff about EMACS is Richard Stallman who also 
has started the Free Software Foundation. He is working on a 
public domain version of Unix, called GNU. An .outgrowth of 
this effort is GNU-EMACS. This is afuil-featured EMACS with a 
Mock LISP Interpreter embedded within it. I hope that 
someone is working on a port of GNU-EMACS to the Amiga 
right now. If you know anyone who is, please help me get in 
touch with them. 

Until GNU-EMACS is available, there are other decendants of 
Micro-EMACS available. So many in fact, that I spent some time 
going thru three easily available implementations comparing 
them to decide which one I wanted to use. 1 thought you might 
benefit from my experience. 



1 looked at the two versions of EMACS on Fred Fish Disk 
number 22 and the version of EMACS found on Fish 
Disk number 23. 

(Emacs purists are now gritting their teeth. When I refer to 
Amiga versions of EMACS, you should all recognize that I mean 
versions of Micro-EMACS. Please excuse this literary 
licentiousness.) 

1 will refer to these 3 implementations of Micro-EMACS for the 
Amiga by the names LEMACS, PEMACS and GEMACS. If you 
pick up the Fish Disks in question, you'll have no problem 
identifying which version I mean. 

LEMACS was my least favorite implementation of EMACS for 
the Amiga. Yet, in one important sense, it is the most advanced 
version of EMACS for the Amiga. 

It supports EMACS modes of editing. When an editor knows 
enough of the syntax of a programming language, it can help 
you by completing syntactic constructs automagically. It saves 
you tile frustration of having to wait for the compiler to catch 
your syntax errors. It helps you generate syntactically correct 
code in the first place. This feature is the real joy of a full 
featured EMACS implementation. 

To some extent, this is supported in LEMACS. And this is a 
major plus for this version. For example, it knows you might be 
editing a C program, and it will type a close-parenthesis ')' after 
one types an open parenthesis '('. 

Since I was a new user of LEMACS, I appreciated the 
implementation of the HELP key. When the HELP key was 
pressed, a help file was loaded off disk, put into a buffer, and 
displayed on the screen. This was most appreciated, since 1 
was used to a different set of key-bindings from another 
EMACS and was quite a problem trying to get LEMACS to quit 
without saving. 

On the down side, LEMACS didn't support the Amiga 
keyboard as I would like. I could position my cursor using the 
arrow keys, Which is a plus. But it did not provide key bindings 
for the functbn keys on the Amiga keyboard. 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 89 



It did not take advantage of the Amiga mouse. Moreover, it did 
not use any of the Intuition Menu interface. I've become 
spoiled by the mouse when editing, so I marked down 
LEMACS for this reason, 

I would recommend this version if you areni spoiled by the 
mouse and the menus yet and intend to use fhis editor to do a 
lot of program source code editing. Otherwise, read on. 

I said that LEMACS was the most advanced version of Micro- 
EMACS for the Amiga. On the other hand, PEMACS is the 
version best customized for Amiga. 

It supports all the Amiga function keys, it supports the Arrow 
keys. It lets you enter META-key commands via the ALT-key 
sequence. 

Emacs commands are issued via pressing control key 
sequences. For example, you type CTRL-V to move down one 
screenful of information. To move up one screenful of info, 
you type the ESCape key followed by the V key. This is known 
as META-V in the EMACS documentation jargon. 

I prefer the ALT-key sequence to entering ESC-key, because it 
is a closer analogy to hitting CONTROL-key. 

If you find your cursor at one end of the screen, and the text 
you want to change at another point, you merely click your little 
mousie at that point and your cursor is THERE, t got spoiled by 
this feature soon after I learned of it. 

I must admit that when I studied PEMACS to make this report, I 
was familiar with it. Thus, it was very easy to grow to rely upon 
the menu selection bar atop the window instead of memorizing 
all the key sequence commands for obscure editing functions. 

Menu support is something you get spoiled by rather quickly as 
well. But let me lobby here for giving the user BOTH menus 
and obscure key bound command sequences. We're not on 
the Macintosh, you know. 

The worst misfeature of this implementation is the binding of 
the help key to CTRL-U. This key is right next to the backspace 
key and the up-arrow key. It gets hit by mistake real easy. Now, 
CTRL-U is a very useful key. It is bound to the repeal-command 
function. So, if you hit CTRL-U, EMACS will repeat the next 
command you enter some number of times. (It defaults to four 
times.) 

If you hit HELP and then inadvertantely hit DELete you can kiss 
4 characters good bye. Or if you hit HELP then CTRL-V, you 
are 4 pages away from where you started, lost and wondering 
what happened. 

I recommend that if you are not using LEMACS, take a look at 
PEMACS to appreciate what a boon editing with a mouse is. 
However, I'll neglect to recommend this version over GEMACS 
which I'll describe next. The only negative about this 
implementation is that it lacks the editing modes found in 
LEMACS. 



I recommend GEMACS as the Amiga version of Micro-EMACS. 
As the documentation for GEMACS slates, "Accept No 
substitutes." Are you confused by the plethora of different 
public domain EMACS-like editors? I am loo. 

GEMACS is a step backwards. It is designed to be more 
compatible with GNU EMACS. GEMACS is the version you 
SHOULD USE. The proliferation of MicroEMACS 

implementations is confusing. 

All these implementations should be brought together into a 
common version which supports the best of each of the 
individual EMACS implementations which are available, At 
present, there is an effort on USENET to make GEMACS a 
jumping-off point for a single common implementation of 
MicroEMACS. 

GEMACS comes on Fish Disk 23 in a most confusing form. 
There are four executable versions of GEMACS available on 
Fish Disk 23. Two of the versions provided are plain-jane 
implementations without support for the mouse or the menus. 

I think they are provided for the EMACS purists who are in a snit 
because they aren't using a LISP machine. These two stripped 
down GEMACS implementations are produced using the Aztec 
and the Lattice compilers respectively. 

There are two more executables which support all the function 
keys, the arrow keys, the mouse and provide menus atop the 
editing window. As noted before, there is an executable 
provided which is generated by the Lattice and the Aztec 
compilers. (Green Hills must feel left out.) 

I did not look very closely at the two plain-jane executables. 
I was surprised to find that the Lattice generated executable 
would not run properly on my machine. I'd be interested to 
know why. However, the Aztec generated executable is about 
half the size and it seems to run well. This is the executable I'm 
writing this article with. 

GEMACS supports the most versatile menu structure of all the 
implementations reviewed. The HELP key is implemented 
differently from both LEMACS and PEMACS. When you type 
HELP, the editor waits for you to type another command key 
sequence. When you type that command key sequence, it 
responds with a one line description of that function. 

On the down side, you have to learn not to use the 
BACKSPACE key. That key is bound to the help-command as 
well. I suppose it keeps you from inadvertantly zapping 
characters when you request help. 

Forget what shifled-F5 does? Simple, just type HELP followed 
by shifted-F5, That's easy, shifted-F5 is bound to the 
command "delete-other-windows". 

As is the case with PEMACS. GEMACS does not 
support editing modes. I hope the authors of LEMACS 
conspire to add editing modes to GEMACS. Of course, should 
GNU EMACS ever become available on the Amiga, I'll drop 
everything and go to that. In the mean time, I intend to use 
GEMACS and recommend it to others. 

•AC* 



90 



Volume 1, #8 



.bmap File Reader 
in AmigaBASIC 



/ wonder whafs in those .bmap files,., 
Hmmm.., 



By Tim Jones 

People Link ABSOFT 1 

SYSOP The Window BBS (61 7) 868-1 430 

While programming in AmigaBASIC, I was confronted with a 
challenge. I was attempting to work on a terminal program that 
would be able to call up a 'list' or allow you to 'Spawn' a new CLI 
from which you could run DOS commands. 

While looking through the various demos thai are included on 
the Extras disk, I noticed a file that included a routine (via a call 
to a .library) that used the DOS 'EXECUTE' command. 1 was 
sure that there in would lie the answer to my challenge. 

After probing the inner workings of the program, I realized that, 
given the appropriate .bmap files, I would be able to acces 
most, if not all, of the Amiga's built in functions. The .bmap file 
that was called by this program was the dos.bmap file (as 
"dos. library"). 

After looking at the way the program seemed to interact with 
the library, I was quickly stumped and turned to the explanation 
of .bmap files in the manual. This in turn brought up more 
questions; mainly, if 1 could get into the .bmap file, would I be 
able to make use of what was there? 

1 used the FileZap file that's been floating around the area 
BBS's and found that there was a lot more in the dos.bmap file 
than just 'EXECUTE". I started prowling around my developer's 
manuals and found that the library calls represented in the 
.bmap file were straight out of the AmigaDOS manual. 

After comparing the data that I saw using FileZap with the format 
that the BASIC manual said should be there, I became totally 
confused. With the exception of the routine names, the file 
appeared to contain useless garbage that was supposed to 
represent the register usage of the routine. 

As with most of the programs that I write, I decided that there 
must be a more orderly way to examine the file and determine 
exactly what was available. Thus 'BmapReader" came into 
existence as a way to examine the .bmap files that were 
appearing on various BBS's across the nation. 



Programming Notes 

When you load and run 'BmapReader', it will look to the default 
directory for the graphics. bmap file. It will open the library and 
use two of the routines that are available. These are the Move() 
and the SetDrMd{) routines. 

The Move() routine allows you to specify a pixel address, rather 
than a character cell, when positioning text on the screen. The 
call is invoked with the following syntax: 

CALL Move&(rastPort&,xLoc,yLoc) 

You can get the value for the rastPort pointer from the 
WIND0W{8) function. In all of my programming, I have made it a 
habit to set the pointer using the variable name Rp&. 

This is done by calling the WIND0W(8} function AFTER I have 
set up the window structure. In the event that I have more than 
one window to work with, I will set them up according to the 
window numbers (i.e. WINDOW 1 = Rpl &, WINDOW 2 = Rp2&, 
etc.). 

One important fact to keep in mind when using f^oveQ is the 
rastPort address is the upper left hand corner of the window 
and does not take into account the borders or the title/drag bar. 
Therefore, when you position things on the screen, you must 
add eleven to the y coordinate and one to the x coordinate in 
order to get your locations to coordinate with the x and y 
coordinates used in the other BASIC graphics commands 
(LINE, CIRCLE. GET. PUT et.al.). 

One more major point that you may have noticed, when I 
DECLARE FUNCTION SeSDrMd LIBRARY, I declared the 
function as a SHORT variable and then 1 called it as a LONG 
(SetDrMd&O). The actual declaration does not need to specify 
it as LONG as it is only looking for the function name in the 
.bmap file. In fact, by declaring the function as a LONG, it has 
been seen to cause a visit from the GURU! This does not occur 
all of the time, but why invite disaster? 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 91 



The SetDrMdO routine allows you to access the various drawing 
modes in the library. These modes are JAM1, JAM2, 
COMPLEMENT and INVERSE. When you are normally printing 
to the screen, you are in JAM2 mode. I will not go into detail 
about the different modes here, but they are all available using 
the SetDrMdO routine. The syntax is; 

CALL SetDrMd&(Rp&,Mode%) 

where Rp& is, once again, the rastPort address pointer and 
Mode% is the value of the drawing mode you wish to use 
(0,1 ,2,4 or any bitwise combination). 

These functions are used to place the text into non-LOCATE 
oriented positioning to make for a more aesthetic display. Also, 
I use SetDrMdO when COMPLEMENTING the Requestor 
selection buttons. 

My Requestor routine is being presented as a separate article 
and includes a complete discussion of the inner workings and 
variable assignments to allow you to make use of it in your 
programs. 



Running BmapReader 

When run, BmapReader will display a Requestor and ask you 
for a filename which it then searches for in the current or 
specified directory. When you enter the filename, it isn't 
necessary to add the .bmap extension as the program will 
append it for you if it is missing (keeps you from bombing things 
out by trying to examine the wrong lile). 

If the file is not found, the requestor returns, informs you of this 
fad, and asks if you wish to try another name or exit. 

If the file Is located, the program then displays 20 lines of 
iriformation based on what was discovered in the file. 

The things that are displayed are: 

The routine Name 

The offset vector jump address (how far from the Base 

address of the library does the function reside) 
The Registers used by the function. (# signs) 



1 realize that many of you will not find a true use for this program, 
but it is being presented as a demonstration of library function 
calls and as a help to programmers that are using the libraries in 
their programs. 

If you have questions or comments, I can be reached through 
the following BBS's: 

People Link - as AmSoft 1 

The Window - (617)-868-1430 as myself or Sysop 

Wonderland- (61 7)-665-3796 as myself 



: TRUI - -1 • Ju«t bacauiat 
230 : BobBottom - 90 ' Ih* ■idai of ovix 



Listing 1 



Initialixa: 

THLSS - 

BobRight ■ 
r«qu«ator 

DEF FKAzraySliaii ■= 3 + IHT { (BobRi^ht + 
16) /1£) * (BobBottoM+l) •2 

DECH&JIZ FITNCTION Hov« LIB51ARY 

DECLARZ FUNCTION SatDrMd LIBRARY 

LIBRARY "graphic*, library" 

Titl*$ - " .kmap R«adar Tim Jonas " 

TitlaS - Titl«$ + CKRS(169) + " 19B6 AmSoft Davolopamant" 

WIHDCW 1, TitlaS, (0,0)- (631,1861, 

PAJUETTE 0, 0,0, 

.1 
.1 
-1 



■(617, 186), 15,-1 : STOP 



Bytaa raad. FILE- 



COKJR 3,0 
Addraaa 



dO dl d2 d3 d4 d5 



PAI,ETTE 3, ,a, .2, 

PALETTE 1, .1, .7, 

PALETTE 2, .9, , 9, 

Ept = W1HDCW(8) 
Start: 

COLOR 1,0 : CLOSE 1 

GOSUB KamaRaquaator 

IF HOT Okay THEN 

CLS : LIBRARY CLOSE 

HINDCM 1, "BmapReadar", (0,0) 

END IF 

ON ERROR GOTO FilaProb ' thia acrawa thinga up if you use 
othar than tha 

' dafault workbanch acraan 

IF UCASE$(RiaHT$ (rilaNama$,5)) <> ".BMAC" THEK 
FilaNa&a$ ^ Fil«Naiii«$ + ".bciap" 

END IF 

OPEN FilaNanaS FOR INPUT AS 1 

Prompts - "" : Prompt2$ « " Output to Printer?" 

GOSDB YNRaquaator : IF Okay THEN fPrt « TRUE : GOTO 
Printar 

CLS 

LINE(3,13)-(62B,170),l,b 

LINE (4, 13) -(627, 170), l,b 

LangthS - LOF(l) 

LOCATE 23, 1 : PRINT Lengths 
2,0 : PRINT 
FileKamaS; 

CAXI. HovaC (Rp£, 10, 10) 

PRINT "Routine Name 
de d7 aO al a2 a3 
•4" 

COLOR 1 , 
GatThaFila: 

HHILE NOT IOr{l) 
FOR L » 3 TO 21 
IF EOF (1) THEN 
FOR J » L TO 21 
LOCATE J, 2 
PRINT SPACES (75) 
NEXT J 

GOTO Finiahad 
END IF 

G05UB GatRoutNama 
COLOR 1,0 
LOCATE L,2 
PRINT " ",- Routines 
C05DB CatEntryAdd 
LOCATE L,25 
IF LEN(Addraaa$(2) ) - 1 THEM 

Addxaaa$(2) - "0" \ AddreaaS (2) 
END IF 

PRINT AddreBa$(l),-Addrasa$ (2) 
COSUB C^atRaglnfo 
lOCATE L,35 ■ 
PRINT 
NEXT L 
COLOR 0,3 

LI HE (386, 173) -(612, 185), 3, bf 
LI HE (388, 174) -(610, 184 ),0,b 
CALL Kovat (Rp£,3 94,ie2) : 
abort* " ; 

HaitKey: 

In$ - INKEYS : IF In$ - 
IF InS - CHRS(138) THEN 

LINE (386, 173) - (612, 185) , 0, bf 
GOTO Finiahad 
END IF 



PRINT "Fl continuea O FlO 



THEN HaitKay 



92 



Volume 1, M 



IF InS <> CHtlS(129) THEH MaitK»y 

COLOR 1, Q 

LINE (386, n3) - (612,185) ,0,bf 
HZNtI 
GOTO rlniahad 

C«tRout>lmm* : 
RDutin«$ - "" 
SOSUB OatChar 
VmiLE Ch»rS <> CHR$ (0) 

Sloutli:a$ = RoutiB«$ + Char$ 

GOSUB GatChair 
WEND 
ir LED (Routin«$) < 30 THEH 

RoutinaS - Routina$ + SPACE$ (20 - LEN (RoutinaS) ) 
END IF 
RETURN 



GatEntryAdd: 

FOR ii - 1 TO 2 
COSDB Catchzr 
Addraaa$(il) - 
HEXT ii 
SETURD 



HEX$(A£C(Char$) ) 



OatRaglnfo : 

LOCATE L,35 ; PRINT SPACES (42); 
WHILB Ch«r$ O CHR$(0) 

COSUB CatChax 

COLOR 2.0 

Raglstar - ASC{CK>r$) 

G050B Rl 
HEND 

ir fPrt THEN PRINT #4, " " 
RETtlRN 

G«tchar: 

IF NOT lOr(l) THEN Chkr$ - IHP0T$(1,1) 

RETURN 

rinifhad: 

COLOR 3,0 

LOCATE 23, 1 

ERINT SPACE$ (7S) ; 

LOCATE 23, 1 

PRINT " Do you wish to axunin* anothar .EKAP fil* 
(Y/H)?'; 
tast: 

ln$ - ISKEYS r ir InS » "" THES taat 

IF OCASES(InS) <> "t" THEH 

CLS : CLOSE 1 : LIBRARY CLOSE : WINDOW CLOSE 1 
MINDOM l,"anapR»adai:", (0, 0)-(6n, 186) ,15,-1 : STOP 

END IF 

OQTO Start 

Rl: 

IF R*ai(t*c < 1 THEH RfTintK 
IF Ragiatar > 8 THEN R2 
IF fPrt THEH 

PRIRT |4,CHRS(141) ;TAB(32 + (Ragiatar * 3) ), ■"#■'; 

RETORH 

turn IF 

LOCATE L, (32 + (Ragiatar • 3)) 

PRINT "i" 
RETURN 

R2: 

IF «rt THEH 

PRINT #4,CHRS(141),-TAB(34 + (Ragl.tajT • 3));"#",- 

RETURN 
END IF 

LOCATE L, (34 + (R«gl»t»r *3)) 
PRINT "#" 
RETURN 

Fclntar: 

OPEN "UTllBIH" FOR ODTEDT AS 4 

PRINT |4,CHR${14) ,- "Contanta of fila ",-Fil*Nuaa$ 

PRINT #4, " ■■ 

WHILE NOT EOr(l) 

PRINT |4,"Routina Kama Addraaa dO dl d2 d3 d4 

d5 dG d7 aO >1 a2 
a3 ■4" 



PRIHT #4, 



FOR L " 1 TO 54 
IF EOF(l) THEN 

GOTO Finiflhad 

END IF 

COSDB CatRoutNama 

PRINT #4," ".-Routina?; 
GOSUB GatEntryAdd 

IF LEH(Addre»aS{2) ) - 1 THEK 

Addxaaa$(2) » "0" + Addcaas$(2) 
EHD IF 

PRINT 14," ",-Addr*s>$ (1) ;Addr*aa$(2); 
GOST3B GatReglnfo 
HEXT L 

PRINT |f4,CKR$(12) 
WEND 

PRINT #4,CHR$(12) 
CLOSE 4 : fPrt - FALSE 
GOTO Start 

rilaprob: 

flag - ERR 

PcomptS "■ "■■ 

Prompt 2 S - " Error I »"+ SIRS (ERR) 

GOSUB YNRaquaator 

IF HOT 0)e»y THEH 

LIBRARY CLOSE 

CLOSE 1 

WINDOW CLOSE 1 

WINDOW 1, "BmapRaadar", (0, 0) - (617,186) , 31,-1 

EHD 
EHD IF 
RESUME Start 

NamaRaquaa to r : 

SizaK - FNAxraySiza£\2 

DIM ScrSaTt (Size£) 

GET (40, 40) - (230, 90) , SerSavfi 
DrawRaqu«BtorToScxQan2 : 

LINE (40, 40)- (230,90) ,l,bf 

LINE (40, 40)- (230, 90) , 0,b 
box 

LINE (44, 42)- (226, 8B) ,0,b 
box 

LIKE (50, 74) -(72, 86), 3, bf 

LINE (50, 74) -(72, 86) ,0,b 

LINE (150, 74) -(220, 86), 3, bf 

LINE (150, 74) -(220, 86) ,0,b 

CALL HOT«£ (Rp£,S3, 83) 
button 

COLOR 0,3 : PRINT "OK" 

CALL MOTa£ (Rp£,ie0, 83) 
button 

COLOR 0,3 : PRINT "CANCEL" 

LINE {53, 50) -(216, 62) ,3,b 

Cura - 55 : LINE (Cura, 52) - (Cur«+7, 60) , 2, bf 
p»audo-curaor 

CALL Movat (Rpt, 53, 71) ; COLOR 0,1 : PRINT " Eatar File 
Nasa" 

C$ - INKEYS : WHILE C$ <> "" : CS " INKEYS : WEND 'Empty 
Jcayboard buffar 

FilaHama$ - "" 

AccaaaLoop; ^ Wait for clicX in atring box or CANCEL 

I - HOUSE (0) : X - MOUSE (1) : Y = MOOSE (2) 
IF I <> THEN 

WHILE I <> : I - MOUSE (0) : X = M0USE{1) : Y = 
HOUSE (2) : HEHD 

Y-y-1 ■ Thia is dua to « diffaranca in MOOSE (2) and the 
actual Window 

' location 
IF X > 150 AND X < 220 AND Y > 74 AND Y < 66 THEN " 
Chaclc for CANCEL 

CALL SatDrMdS (Rpt, 2) : LINE (151, 75) - (219, 85) , 0,bf 
CALL SatDdldf (Ep(,l) 

Okay • FALSE : FOR Dalay - 1 TO 1000 : NEXT Dalay 
PUT (40, 40) ,ScirSavI,PSET 

ERASE ScrSaTt : COLOR 1,0 : RETURN "'' 
END IF 

IF X > 53 AND X < 216 AND Y > 50 AND Y < 62 THEM 
LINE (Cura, 52) -(Cm:i+7, 60) ,0,bf 



'Main raquaator hox 
'outlina for main raquaator 

'secondary outline for main 

*OK button box 

'OK outline 

•CANCEL button box 

'CANCEL outline 

'Poaition for printing OK in 

'print it 

'Position for printing CANCEL 



'print it 



Print the 



Amazing Computing™ ©1986 93 



ADFO 

AMIGA DISK FILE ORGANIZER 

Having trouble finding that file somewhere in 
your stack of floppys? Can't find all the copies 
of a particular file? 

ADFO maintains a database of the directories 
disknames and filenames from your collection 
of disks. Fast response inquiries return loca- 
tion and last update information. Printer inter- 
face. Uses CLI or Workbench. 

51 2K ram and 2 drives recommended— S59.95 

Include $3.50 S & H 

Mastercard/Visa Accepted 

Sorry, No COD 

Calif. Residents Add 6Vi% Sales Tax 

3386 Floyd 

Los Angeles, CA 90068 

(213) 851-4868 

Order phone 1800 621-0849 Ext. 494 



FOR D«l«y - 1 TO 50 : KEXT D«l«y 

LINE (Cur», 52) - (Cur»+7, 60) , 2, bf 

WHILE INKEYS O "" ; KEND 

GOTO Loop 
END IF 
EHD IF 
GOTO Xcc««»Loop 

Loop: ' W« do thi« until CANCEL, OK or Csrrlag* lUtum 

CS = INKZY$ : I - MOnSE(O) : X = MOOSE (1) = Y - MOUSE (2) 
IF I <> THEN 

WHILE I <> : I - MOUSE (0) : X " MOnSE(l) : Y - 
MODSE(2) : WEND 

Y-Y-1 ' Thi» i« du« to m. diff«r«nc« In K0DSE(2) «nd th« 
ACtuml Window 

' location 
IF X > ISO AND X < 220 AND Y > 71 AND Y < 86 THEN ' 
Check for CAJHCEL 

CAIi SetDrMdS (Rpt,2) : LINE (151, 75) - {219, 85) , 0,bf 
CAU, SatDrMdt (Rp£,l) 

Okay - FALSE : FOR D«l«y =■ 1 TO 1000 : NEXT Delay 
FDT(40, 40) .ScrSavfi.FSET 
ECASE ScrSavt : COLOR 1,0 : RETURN 
END IF 

IF X > SO AND X < 72 AND Y > 74 AND Y < 86 AMD 
LEN(Fil*NaiM$) > THEN 

' Chack for OK and len^fth of file 

CAIL SatDrMdS (Bpt,2) : LIKE (51, 75) - (71 , 85) , , bf 
CALL SatDcKdt (Rp£,l) 

FOR Delay - 1 TO 1000 : NEXT Delay : Okay » TROZ : 
£Exl»t - TROE 

POT {40, 40) ,Scr3aTt,PSET 
ERASE SccSavt : COLOR 1,0 : RETORM 
END IF 
END IF 

IF C$ - "" THEN GOTO Loop 

IF LEN(FileName$) - THEN IF CS < "A" AND ASC(C5) <> 13 
GOTO Loop 



' Don't allow non'-Alpha characters as first character 
IF ASC{CS) - 13 THEN 

Okay = TRDE : fExiat = TEDE 

PDT{40, 40) ,ScrSavS,PSET 

ERASE ScrSawt : COLOR 1,0 : RETURN 
END IF 
IF ASC (C$) - 8 THEN 

' Capture the Backspace and fix diaplay and filename 

FlleName$ » LEFT? (FlleNamaS, LEN (FileName?) -1) 

LINE (Cura, 52)- (CurB+7, 60) , l,bf 

Cur» ■ Cur»-8 : LINE (Cure, 52) - {Cura+7, 60) , 2, bf 

GOTO Loop 
END IF 

IF I,EH(FileNaBie$) - 19 THEN GOTO Loop 
IF ASC{eS) - 8 THEN Loop 

IF CS < " " OR (CS > "I" AND C$ < "«") OR CS > "I" GOTO 
Loop 

FiloNameS = FileNamaS + C$ 

LINE (Curs, 52)- (Cux»+7, 60) ,l,bf 

COLOR 0,1 : CALL MOTei (Rp4, 0, 59) : PRINT PTAB(Cur«) ;C$; 

Cura - Cura + 8 : LINE (Cura, 52) - (Cura+7 , 60) , 2, bf 

GOTO Loop 

YNRaqueator: 

Sizat ~ FNArr»ySizaS\2 'to reserve meioory for the GET 
atatemetib 

OIK ScrSav£(Siza&) 
CiEr(40,40)- {230, 90) , SorSavi 
LINE (40, 40) -{230, 90), 2, bf 
LINE (40, 40) -{230, 90) ,0,b 
LINE (44, 42) -(226, 88) ,0,b 
LINE (50, 74) - (72, 86) , 3 , bf 
LIKE {50, 74)- (72, 86), 0,b 
LINE (150, 74) -(220, 86), 3, bf 
LINE (150, 74) -(220, 86), 0,b 
CALL MoTafi (Rp£,53, 83) 
COLOR 0,3 : PRINT "OK" 
CALL Moves (Rpt, 160, 33) 
COLOR 0,3 : PRINT "CANCEL" 
CALL Moves (Rpa,54,S2) 
COLOR 0, 2 : PRINT Prompts 
CALL MoveC (RpS, 54, 62) 
COLOR 3,2 : PRINT Prompt2S 

GebButton2 : 



'Main requeator boic 



' OK button box 

'OK outline 

'CANCEL button box 

'CANCEL outline 

•Pojition for OK in button 

'print it 

'Poaition for CANCEL button 

'print it 

'Poaition for first text 

' print it 

'Position for second text 

'print it 



see if the CANCEL button is selected 
X < 220 AND t > 74 AND Y < 36 THEN 



bf 



NEXT Delay 

' Erase the Array 



' This waits for a mouse click (left mouse button) 

I ■ HOUSE (0) : X = MOUSE (1) : Y " MOUSE (2) 
IF I <> THEN 

WHILE too : I -= MOUSE (0) : X - MOOSE (1) : Y - MOUSE {2) 
: Y « Y-1 

WEND 
Cancel: ' Check to 
IF X > 150 AND 

CAIJ, SetDrMd£{BpS,2) 
LINE (151, 75) - {219, 85) , 
CAU, SetDrMd&{RpS,l) 
FOR Delay - 1 TO 1000 : 
PUT (40, 40) , ScrSavS,PSET 
ERASE ScrSavS 
Okay » FALSE 
COLOR 1,0 
RETURN 
END IF 
Ok: ' Chack to see if the OK button is selected 

IF X > 50 AND X < 72 AND Y > 74 AND Y < 86 THEN 
CALL SetDrKdS (Rp£, 2) ' COMPLIMENT the OK button 
LINE (51, 75)- (71,85) ,0,bf 
CALL SetDrMdS (RpS, 1) 
FOR Delay = 1 TO 1000 : NEXT Delay 
POtT(40,40) .ScrSavS.PEET 

Okay - TRUE ' Erase the Ax-ray 

ERASE ScrSavS 
COLOR 1, 
RETURN 
END IF 
END IF 
GOTO GetButtan2 ' Until a button ia selected 



•AC- 



94 



Volume 1, #8 



Amazing Reviews... 



Last, 
but not least. 



An Amiga Training Video and an RF Modulator, 
a quick look at two products received 



The Amiga on Video 

Dan Sorensen and Doug Allen of Clacl<amas Computers in 
Clackamas, Oregon have teamed with Aurion Video 
Productions to produce a ninety minute video tape titled 
Introduction to the Amiqg . 

For most users who have already purchased their machines, 
sel them up, and struggled through the efforts of learning 
Workbench and CLI, the purchase is probably not necessary. 
However, if you are teaching your personnel, a group of 
students, your customers, or yourself from a book on CLI for 
(he tenth time, it is an ideal purchase. 

The Video is presented in three parts: 
Setting-up and Caring for your Amiga, 

hosted by Dan Sorensen 
Using the Workbench, hosted by Dr. Doug Allen 
Introduction to CLI hosted by Dr. Doug Allen 



Caring for the Amiga 

The set up and caring portion is definitly for the first time 
computer user. Dan Sorensen takes the user step by step 
through the setting up of the Amiga. There are also portions 
on cleaning disk drives, surge protectors and other information 
that the first time user will find informative. 



Workbench 

The Using the Workbench section is a great deal more 
thorough. However, most users who have spent some time 
with their units will find this information repetitive. 

Dr. Doug Allen spends a great deal of time and care in leading 
the user through the different intricacies of the Amiga. When a 
user first enters this area, this section will be greatly 
appreciated. Dr. Allen leads users through the seperate 
Icons, preferences, and disk copy. 



CLI 

In the third and final section, Introduction to CLI, Dr. Allen 
prepares the user through the difficult area of the Amiga 
operating system. From our experience at PiM, there are a 
great deal of users who have never attempted to learn about 
this almost undocumented area. 



Dr. Allen does what Commodore did not. He teaches the 
overall ins and outs of using the most powerful part of the 
Amiga operating system by carefully leading the user through 
the more difficult operations. By carfuly demonstrating 
Directories, Ram Disk, and some function commands. Dr. 
Allen makes CLI a bit more understandable then a text alone. 

Last notes 

Again, this tape is not for everyone. However, I recommend it 
for Amiga Dealers who want to provide good support for the 
Amiga without spending a great deal of time teaching the 
everyday items of the Amiga to all of their customers. 

The tape can also be useful to users who either become 
overwhelmed by a text presentation of CLI or would rather 
have the one on one demonstration ability of a video tape. 
Remember, if you don't understand it the first time, you can 
repeat the section of the tape. 

This Video will not answer all questions on CLI but it will get a 
new user online. 

Introduction to the Amiga 

$29.95 

Clackamas Computers 

16234 S.E. 82nd Dr. 

Clackamas, Oregon 97015 

(503)650-0379 



An RF Modulator for the Amiga 

MJ Products has announced their MJ-(vlodulator for the 
Commodore Amiga as "an alternative to the high dollars for an 
RF-modulator interface". 

It uses your television for larger displays (better for large 
classroom demonstrations) 

$22.50 

MJ Products 

23181 Broadway Avenue 

Oakwood Village, OH 44146 

1-219-439-3827 



•AC- 



Ajnazing Computing™ ©1986 95 



Hmazing Computing 



Join Us 

There are a lot of great things you could be doing 
with your Amiga and we want to help. 

We are Amazing Computing™ and we specialize in 
providing information and programs for the 
Comodore Amiga. 

Since February 1986, we have been following the 
events of the Amiga and bringing you the best. 

We were the first magazine to document CLI. 

We were the first to show you the sidecar at 
Comdex'''^ with pictures and detail. 

We were the first magazine to offer serious 
programing examples and help. 

We were the first to document a 5 1/4 drive 
connector. 



We were the first magazine with the user in mind 



But, we are not resting on our past acheivements. 
The Commodore Amiga has more surprises for you 
and we are ready to cover them. We even have a 
few tricks that will "Amaze" you. 

If you want to receive an Amazing insight into your 
Amiga, Then fill out the form today and send it to: 

PiM Publications, Inc. 

P.O. Box 869 
Fall River, MA. 02722 



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Index to Advertisers 



Access Associates 


8 


Advanced Systems Design Group 


56 


Akron Systems 


59 


Amiga Project 


60 


Aurion Video Products 


87 


Byte By Byte 


CIV 


Cardinal Software 68,69 


Colony Software 


75 


Conceptual Computing 


70 


Creative Solutions 


34 


Data Research Processing 


55 


Deluxe Help 


29 


Diet Software 


39 


Discovery Software 48,49 


Eastern Telecom Inc. 


50 


Felsina Software 


53 


Gimble 


16 


Golden Hawk Technology 


40 


Great Cover-Ups 


21 


Green Thumb Software 


26 


Image Set 


64 


Inovatronics, Inc. 


7 


Interactive Analytic Node 84,85 


Jen Day Software 


28 


K J Computers 


38 


Lattice, Inc 


5 


Macro Ware 


47 


Memory Location, The 


81 


Meridian Software Inc. 52,66 


Metadigm, Inc. 


2 


Michigan Software Distributors 


72 


Microillusions 


62 


Micro Search 


77 


MicroSmiths, Inc. 


10 


Micro-Systems Software Inc. 


43 


MIDI-DESIGNS 


65 


M J Products 


20 


National Capital Area User Group 


54 


New England Technical Services 


30 


PIM Publications 14,61,86, 


96 


Phase Four Distributors 


58 


Progressive Peripherals & Software 


88 


Side Effects 


78 


SKE Software 


27 


Slipped Disk 


23 


Software Supermarket 


71 


South Park Software 


42 


Speech Systems 


36 


Stacar International 


67 


TDI Software 


73 


Transtime Technology Co. 


24 


Westcom Industries 


94 



96 Volume 1, #8 



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IS 



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the limitations of current spreadsheets and project management software. With time and project 
management built in to the same work area, you can now solve the simultaneous problems of time 
and money that effect your business for today and tomorrow. 

Logisiix is the hrst and only business software program to actually integrate both time and 
financial functions. Face it; Time is Money. With Logislix, you can schedule personnel, manage 
shipments, plan work schedules and production flows. This allows you to monitor, project, and 
protect your business interests better than ever before. 

Logislix offers you the four dynamic features needed to widen the horizons of success for your 
business. Logistia: combines together, in one worksheet area, a large and sophisticated spreadsheet, 
presentation quality color graphics, database functions and, of course, powerful and flexible time 
and project management. Best of all, it is all designed with the business person in mind. 



Logislix has built-in sideways print functions, supports over 20 international currency symbols, 
and offers complete support documentation, including a examples diskette. Logjstia; reads 1-2-3 files 
and many other file formats, so no time is lost reformatting existing data. You'll be finding business 
solutions faster than ever before. 



Logislix is the most modern and intelligent planning tool ever designed for 
business people, by business people. It's loaded with fealuresyou expect to find in 
programs costing hundreds of dollars more. When it comes to business software, 
Logislix helps you see the future possibilities of your business. 





For more information about Logistia? call or write us today. 



yAMIGA 



J _ HEWLETT 
HM PACKARD 



PROGRtCriVC 






4«4 KALAMATH STREET 

DENVER. COLORADO 802D4 

303-a2S-41M 

TELEX: 8«U37 



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UNLEASH THE AWESOME POWER OF THE AMIGA! 



PAL SYSTEMS. The PAL is a turnkey 
expansion chassis thai provides the 
most powerful and cost effective 
hardware growth path for your Amiga 

Standard Configuration. 1 Megabyte 
RAM. This meg o( RAfVl is located in the 
Amiga's reserve memory and will auto- 
configure. Note that this memory is in 
addition to the 8 meg of RAM accessible 
through the expansion memory and 
does not occupy any of the 5 DMA ex- 
pansion slots. Battery-backed clock/ 
calendar. Built into chassis mother- 
board • does not occupy any of the 5 
DM A expansion slots. 5 DMA expansion 
slots. Conforms to ZORRO Expansion 
architecture (100 pin connectors). Plug 
in cards mounted via card cage - cards 
accessible from PAL's rear panel. No 
need (o open the Pal System to access 
or insert cards. Internally supports up to 
3 half height storage/ retrieval devices. 
Chassis will autoconfigure under 
kickstart/workbench 1.2. 200 watt 
power supply. Chassis rests on top of 
the Amiga. Chassis length and width are 
identical to that of the Amiga. Height is 
approximately 5 inches. Attractive 
aluminum casing styled in the Amiga 
profile. Whisper fan for cooling. 

Chassis with 20 MEG DMA hard disk. 
High speed DMA hard disk controller is 
capable of transmitting data at 10 
MegaBits per second. Supports two 
ST506/412 storage/retrieval devices. 
Optional SCSI controller available 
within 4 weeks of release. The 20 Meg 
hard disk has an average access time 
of 65 Milliseconds and track-to-track ac- 
cess of 1 8 Milliseconds. 

Chassis with 40 MEG DMA hard disk. 
High speed DMA hard disk controller - 
transmits data at 10 MegaBits per sec- 
ond. The 40 Meg hard disk has an aver- 
age access time of 35 Milliseconds and 
track-lo-track access of 6 M ill iseconds. 

Optional expansion cards 

2 Megabyte RAM card. High speed 
memory board incorporating SIMM 
technology. Upgradeable to 8 mega- 
bytes on this board using 1 megabyte 
chips. 

Prototyping cards ' 
51 2K RAM daughterboard with parity. 
Plugs Into the PALmotherboard-doesn't 
take up an expansion slot. 51 2K in 
Amiga reserve memory. Fully autocon- 
figures. Provides parity for this 51 2K 
and one meg ram on the PAL's boards. 



Arboretum Plaza II 9442 Capitol of Texas Highway 





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PAL JR. combines a 20 MEG hard disk 
and a DMA SCSI controller with one 
Megabyte of fast ram. PAL JR.'s low 
profile casing, styled in Amiga colors, 
conveniently connects to the Amiga's 
buss and extends the SCSI port to pro- 
vide further expansion. The small foot- 
print saves valuable real estate while 
providing you with unparalleled power 
to accomplish serious work. Naturally, 
PAL JR. autoconfigures under release 
1 .2 of the operating system. Simply con- 
nect PAL JR. and unleash the awesome 
power of your Amiga! Best of all, the 
suggested retail price is only $1 ,495. 
INFOMINDER is an Intelligent informa-' 
tion resource that provides the user with 
instantaneous access to reference in- 
formation stored within the Amiga per- 
sonal computer. Think of INFOMINDER 
as an electronic library. Fully supports 
multi-tasking, Fast access by menu or 
outline. Expand and Shrink topics with 
a simple mouse click. Text capabilities 
include: Justification, Word Wrap, Multi- 
ple character font/styles. Information 
content completely user defineable. 
Supports combination of TEXT and IFF 
GRAPHICS. Programmatic interface for 
context sensitive help. Narration and 
printing of infomation. 

Use INFOMINDER to hierarchially or- 
ganize and display pictoral files, i.e. 
Real Estate Listings, Personnel Files, 
Digitized X-RAYS, product descriptions, 
collections, etc. '^ 

INFOMINDER is the ideal access 
mechanism for CD ROM and Interactive 
Laser Disk technology. Imagine instan- 
taneous access to entire libraries, i.e. 
encylopedias, law libraries, etc. 

INFOMINDER is revolutionizing the 
way we store and access textual and 
graphical Information, Stop searching 
and START using the information 
around you. Get INFOMINDER today at 
the special introductory price of only 
S89.95. 

TIC. The TIC provides your Amiga with 
a tiny battery backed clock/calendar. 
Conveniently plugs into the second 
joystick port. The TIC's 3 year battery 
will maintain lime even if temporarily re- 
moved from the Amiga. Change the 
Amiga's internal time simply by moving 
the displayed clock's hands with Ihe 
mouse. Set your Amiga's time once and 
for all. Il's about lime for the TIC. 
Suggested retail only $59.95. . ■. 



Suite 150 Austin, TX 78759 (512)343-4357